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LiTHe Blås enjoys successes in Europe

Rapturous applause at the EU Parliament and silver in Dutch Dweilmusik. LiTHe Blås, Linköping University’s wind band, found success everywhere they went.

Break in Dutch championship, BemmelnEveryone knows that the university’s student orchestra LiTHe Blås is best. We now have official confirmation of this.

The orchestra’s traditional summertime Euro-trip started with a spin through Stockholm on the National Day, where they received the award ”Sweden’s best student orchestra” from Sollo’s Memorial Fund. As well as a nice cheque for SEK 20,000. 

And since good things come in threes, LiTHe Blås went on to (almost) win ”Best in Show” at the Dutch Dweilmusik Championships, and a few days later got a rapturous response at the EU Parliament.

gig in BrusselsJust getting the 45 members of LiTHe Blås and the Blåsyran Ballet – dressed in overalls and bearing instruments and numerous strange props – through the EU Parliament’s security checks, was an experience in itself. Especially for the security staff.

”They couldn’t stop laughing”, says Henrik Engström, tenor saxophonist who has survived many summer tours by now.

bags and medalsNeither could the audience, consisting of administrators and politicians, at the parliament’s large cafeteria.

The orchestra received a request on the spot from the most senior administrative manager, Alexander Kleinig, for a repeat concert. Plus a write-up in the parliament’s newsletter Newshound, with the headline ”LiTHe Blås blows smiles to the EP”.

”As far as we know it was the first time a student orchestra played at the EU Parliament. That’s huge!” says Henrik Engström.

But the orchestra members did not know they would be playing at the parliament until the same day. Even though the theme of the trip was the EU, and that this year it was called EUrotour instead of Eurotour.

”According to tradition, we never know where the trip will go until we are woken in the morning by our four ’reiseleiter’ (tour guides), who have organised everything. That’s one of the ideas behind the trip.”

They also had time for a guided tour of the parliament, with a Swedish-speaking guide.

”After showing us around she was going to guide the new Swedish parliamentarians from the two parties, Feminist Initiative and the Sweden Democrats, a combination that made her quite worried. So we got a sense of political tension,” Engström said and laughed.

Gig at squareLiTHe Blås’s summer tours are normally known for a different type of hot air. And lots of stops. This year: Bremen, Bemmeln, Leuven, Tübingen, Göttingen, Trier, Brussels, Lübeck …

They performed from one to five times a day for food and beer, and caught up with former exchange students and old band members who hopped on the bus for a while. And strange things happened.

LIfting a car”In Tübingen our bus got stuck between two poorly parked cars. We soon had a honking queue of cars behind us, and interested onlookers at a nearby café. At times like that it’s great to be surrounded by strong and willing musicians,” explains Henrik Engström.

They simply lifted one of the cars out of the way, so the bus could blow by on route to new adventures.

After ten days on the roads of Europe, the bus returned to LiU. And the band members are rested up and ready for the first concerts during the new term.

”We’re playing everywhere during nolle-p. That’s the best way for us to recruit new members for the orchestra and the ballet. We’re not mainly looking for good musicians – we want good people. Then the music comes automatically.”

Text: Gunilla Pravitz
Images: LiTHe Blås


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Last updated: 2017-02-13