Anyway, this gives us an excuse to discuss all the fun parties Bill experienced in the first few weeks of June. With school-related activity slowing down, there was a bit more free time, as you will see. There was a really fun get-together for U.S./Latvia cultural exchange programs at Ambassador Garber's residence in Jurmala on June 6.
While at the party, Bill met percussionist Rihards Fedotovs, who will be studying at the University for the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, this coming year.
After this party, Bill performed as member of the trumpet section and as trumpet soloist with the Jurmala Youth Wind Orchestra, Janis Kagis and Viesturs Galanieks, conducting.
here) for video. Here's a picture of the 10 a.m. ceremony:
here) to see and hear the J.V.L.M.A. Choir performing this beautiful piece.
There was a post-graduation celebration in J.V.L.M.A. Rector Artis Simanis' office immediately following the ceremony.
Later that evening, there was yet another party, this time in the Music Academy Student Club, a bar located in the basement of the music building that is large enough for live music and dancing.
On Saturday, June 13, Bill and several friends traveled to the Jelgava area for an outdoor concert and dance featuring some Latvian pop/rock music. The group had an outstanding "substitute" bass player named Janis Retenais. As you can see from the video (here), everyone had way too much fun!
On June 14, Carl and Becky Chaplin hosted a party at their apartment. A great time was had by all.
Several brass players from the Latvian Brass Band, the National Opera, and the National Symphony organized a party on Tuesday, June 16. We started by purchasing provisions at Maxima, a Wal-mart-ish kind of store that has everything.
The next day we had a small gathering at the J.V.L.M.A. as kind of a send-off for Viljams. Between the Fulbright "book allowance" and a few extra Lats, we were able to donate a new flugelhorn and a boat-load of trumpet literature to the music academy for future students to use in their studies.
Of course, Niki and the little ladies have had a few parties of their own, living with some of their American friends for a week, playdates, and the annual Maryville Young Players production. Great times had by all!