I have to say it is a learning experience performing here in Germany. They have a different way of doing things. Stage set up as been an interesting process for Patrick, but as always he is handling it in a professional way. Before the concert started the fire marshalls showed to inspect the stage. They wanted to make sure we didn't have any chairs or stands on the fire line, which is a line on the stage that shows where a two ton curtain would drop if there was a fire. If it landed on you, it would crush you. Luckily we passed with no problems. They also inspected the backstage to make sure none of our cases were in the pathways. Another interesting thing is that musicians do not go on stage until the concert begins. You do not warm up on stage and go on as a group, including the concertmaster. Once in, you tune. Oh, but what was really funny, was while all eighty something of our kids were coming on stage, the audience continued to clap, until the very last one entered. About three minutes of it. There was a pause as the basses had not entered but when they did a roaring applause was had. And so the maestro entered and the concert began. Starting with Dvorak, Carnival overture, the GDYO played superb. Fast and entertaining. At the end there were a few shouts. I would say they liked it. Then onto The Tenderland suite by Copland, the GDYO filled the hall with beautiful sounds of the American Midwest. For the last piece of the first half, they performed Xi Wang's Fall at the Barnard Cottage. It is different but the audience seemed to like it. A little confusion about intermission, as they usually do not take one, but every one was gracious and we all seemed to figure what to do. Of course we had a little help from the maestro who stuck his head out from backstage and asked "do we not get an intermission?" a few laughs and of course all was good. More applause after intermission as each musician entered. I personally find it funny as the clapping almost becomes this uniform single clap. Now onto Pictures at an Exhibition. Many in the audience were excited as they said they don't get to hear it much. This is a hard piece and performing on little sleep and time changed can be challenging for any musician at any level. And guess what? GDYO pulled it off with some incredible moments. Encores included Candide overture, Nimrod and Capriccio Espanyol The audience could not stop clapping, they called the back for more encores. On and on the applause went, we almost ran out of music. Wow what a great first concert for tour. A side note story: sitting two rows down from me were three children between the ages of 10-14 and there mother. She came over and asked me if I was with the youth orchestra and had a few questions. During the concert, the children sat on the edge of their seats, completely inthralled with the GDYO. Their attention span never once seemed to disappear and several times they would sit up even longer when they heard something they like. I have a few shots of the back of their heads in my photos and videos. After the concert I spoke with them. They were from Massachusetts in Germany visiting Grandparents and heard about the concert and wanted to come. They were also in a youth orchestra which would be going on tour next week to England, Scotland and Iceland. They played viola, cello and flute. Pretty neat.