Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Finns are Here!

One of the neat things about the Vintage Band Festival, which starts tomorrow in Northfield, is the opportunity it provides for cultural exchange.  We've having our own in-house cultural exchange as we host two 15-year-old flute players from the Helsinki Wind Band, a group of about 40 players ages 13 to 20.

The group arrived in Northfield yesterday evening after performing a concert at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis as part of National Night Out.  Another Northfield host told me, as we waited to be paired up with our students, that he'd stopped to hear the concert on the way home from work and thought the band was phenomenal.
The Wind Band of the Music Institute of Eastern Helsinki will perform Thursday at 1 p.m. in Bridge Square.
The band members are spending today touring cultural highlights of the Twin Cities – the Guthrie Theater and the Ordway – before heading to the Mall of America for what's certain to be a completely different cultural experience.  The band performs one concert here in Northfield on Thursday, 1 p.m. at Bridge Square, before heading home to Finland.

The two young women we're hosting gave us several gifts last night: a Marimekko oven mitt and hot pad, a CD of their group, a bottle of Finnish shampoo, and a couple different kinds of candy, including salmiakki, a traditional and popular Finnish candy.  We tried it, and it tastes like salty black licorice.  My kids decided it was an acquired taste – one they're not likely to acquire anytime soon.  The white chocolate-covered blueberries were a hit with them, though.

These are the gifts we received from our Finnish youth band members.
I look forward to hearing tonight about the band's adventures in the Twin Cities, and I am eager to attend the concert tomorrow.


  1. I would like the licorice please!

  2. Since you said please, Brendon, I can have Steve bring some to Romeo and Juliet rehearsal tonight.