The American Wind Symphony Orchestra is quite the spectacle to behold. Started in 1957 by Music Director Robert Boudreau, the AWSO is a troupe of approximately 45 musicians, soloists and artists that perform and present their art on the Point Counterpoint II vessel, which can be classified as a floating arts center. The artists that make up the orchestra can hail from all reaches of the world and are most often times from many places other than the United States.

What really make the AWSO unique is not its floating arts center, which is special in and of itself, rather, it is the fact that all of the musicians and artists that come along for the ride are housed by local resident musicians. Generally, a high school student studying an instrument would be suggested to house an AWSO musician of the same instrument in an effort to offer some one-on-one training to the aspiring young musician, as well as an exchange of culture and friendship.

The City of Ottawa is generously hosting the AWSO for the residents of Ottawa and surrounding areas again June 30 through July 5. Each day the orchestra will provide entertainment or interaction with the community. Dubbed Patriotism In The Park, the AWSO will hold their main event at Allen Park on July 3 at 7:30pm. 

Admission to the event will be free for all who wish to attend, as the Robert M. Eschbach Endowment Fund, The City of Ottawa and The Edmund Thornton Foundation will underwrite a portion of the event. Other donations are also being solicited to completely cover the cost of this wonderful affair.

We are overjoyed that the AWSO has decided to make a triumphant return to Ottawa, just a week after performing multiple concerts here. There must be something in the air here in Ottawa that keeps bringing these talented musicians and artists back to our doorstep. If prior experiences serve as a source of indication, the people of Ottawa are in for another weekend of fun, incredible music and great people. 

This year will be the last year the AWSO sets sail on the Point Counterpoint II; the ship and Mr. Boudreau are retiring. Do not miss this incredible opportunity to see a world-renowned act that you will never be able to see again. We are so very lucky to have the city of Ottawa and all of the other backing donors providing the community with such superb entertainment and culture.

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Pamela Beckett
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