Song of the Lark is Going to Europe!

I’m going to Europe to cover the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2016 tour, and I want you to be a part of it.

How’s that for a hook?


Yes, I’m BEYOND EXCITED to announce that Song of the Lark is going on the road – or, more accurately, taking to the skies – August 18 to August 30, covering the Minnesota Orchestra’s first international tour in…recent memory, let’s say.

I’ll be taking the same flights and staying in the same hotels as the band, and attending all performances. (Minus Edinburgh’s, which was a very expensive 22-hour detour I decided to scratch in the interest of being alert and [somewhat] well-rested.) Along the way, I’m planning to stop at places like Ainola, where Jean Sibelius lived and wrote his symphonies, and the Concertgebouw, one of the most storied concert halls in the world. I’ll also learn more about the life and times of one of my favorite musicians, a woman by the name of Frieda Belinfante. I haven’t written about her yet on the blog because I want to do a huge piece on her someday. She was from Amsterdam, and she was the first artistic director of an orchestra in Europe. (She also happened to be a lesbian Nazi-fighting cellist.) So as you can see, this won’t be just a Minnesota Orchestra related trip; I want to keep my horizons as broad as the ones we’ll be flying over. There will be other stops, too…I’m trying to leave room for spontaneity in the itinerary.

Expect (frequent) daily updates via blog entry and/or social media: Tweets, Facebook updates, pictures, videos, blog entries, you name it, all meant to give you guys a behind-the-scenes look at what an orchestra’s international tour is like…from this patron’s perspective. I’m envisioning something similar to what I did this spring when I covered the Orchestra’s return to Carnegie Hall, only with a lot more content. (Also, the Minnesota Orchestra itself mentioned today on Facebook that it’s going to be posting stuff, so be sure to check them out for tour updates, too!)

After I made the reservations, I told friends about the trip on my personal Facebook page, and a few people expressed interest in supporting the venture financially. So, taking inspiration from Scott Chamberlain’s beloved historic crowdfunded Cuban coverage, I decided to launch a GoFundMe page. If you want to be involved, I seriously can’t thank you enough! Here is the link… There’s also a full itinerary there, and more details about the trip itself:

The GoFundMe page will remain active throughout the coverage, so if you want to wait a while to see what kind of value you get from me before chipping in, feel free.

In closing…

I’m afraid the next two paragraphs are going to come off as pander-y, but I’ll risk that anyway.

I’m covering this trip for myself. After the death of my mom last year, when the floor of my world fell out, I decided I wanted to do something huge in 2016. I wanted to prove that I’m alive, and that I made it through a terrible time, and that I am my mother’s daughter. Going to Europe to write about my beloved orchestra seemed like a good huge thing to do to celebrate the values she instilled in me: love of music, love of adventure, love of love.

But the more I thought about it, the more I’ve realized I also want to cover this trip for you: the audience who, more than any other in America, served as its orchestra’s life preserver. I know how many of you want to go, but just aren’t able to. And make no mistake about it: you are why this tour is happening. Any overseas triumph belongs just as much to the community as it does the players onstage. We’re all in this together. It just made sense to have at least one of us along for the ride, reporting back to the rest.

Anyway! Whether you’re drawn to donate or not, please, ALL OF YOU, check back here and on my social media accounts beginning on August 18! If you need the links, here they are:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Probably (if I get around to it) Instagram, if only for the purposes of this tour, but I haven’t set the account up yet


Wherever you are in the world, watch out: Minnesota is back.



Filed under Minnesota Orchestra

8 responses to “Song of the Lark is Going to Europe!

  1. Erika

    I am so excited for you! I look forward to your coverage of the tour.

  2. Lisa R Ragsdale

    “Repetition:” And I am so happy for you that you are able to afford and attend this tour of our great MN Orchestra. Just write and blog to your heart’s content and I will be reading along with everyone else. Enjoy every minute (EEM). Bye!

  3. David Sanders

    Hi Emily,

    I was happy to contribute to your trip, but it would have been nice if the management had recognized how important you have been to the Orchestra and brought you along as a guest/blogger. But, I understand how tight orchestra budgets are, and understand why they wouldn’t or couldn’t.

    • That’s so kind, David, and means so much; thank you. In a way, I think it’s better if there’s a degree of separation there… It makes me feel like I don’t owe the Minnesota Orchestral Association anything financially, and for whatever reason, that makes me feel good. More free to speak my mind or something. It’s an interesting subject in the modern era, isn’t it…about the ethics of arts journalism, and who should pay for big arts journalism projects like this. I admit I don’t have the answers yet. I think everyone in the field is trying to figure those out. But I DO know that I have the best readers in the world, and I appreciate them so very, very deeply. That is a great thing to know. I hope you enjoy the coverage, and keep in touch. x

  4. Janine and I just returned from a jaunt to Ireland and England, partially to take in a couple of concerts, 200 voices with orchestra, singing portions of one work by Christopher Tin, and the entirety of another. It twas exciting to have that bit of exposure to a live musical event and to have taken a trip from Iowa to that region. I can only imagine the fun you’ll have covering the orchestra as they travel and play. Enjoy!

  5. Kurt Rusterholz

    There is a nice hard copy of The Rest is Noise at Half Price Books Highland $14.99

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