On the Rocks returns from Balkans tour as U.S. arts envoy

On the Rocks

The U.S. State Department recently chose the UO’s all-male a cappella group On the Rocks to take part in a trip across Europe for the Arts Envoy Program.

The program fosters and strengthens cross-cultural understanding. The group was sent to the Balkans to fulfill that mission.

Throughout the trip, which began Oct. 16 and ended at home in Eugene Nov. 3, the group performed at schools, attended workshops and saw the sights around the Balkan Peninsula, including Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia. 

“The tour has been exhausting but amazingly beautiful so far,” Jasper Freedom, a member of the group and trip coordinator, said at the start of its journey. “Our first four days in Slovenia were the toughest due to jet lag, but we completely fell in love with the country. We’re still in awe of this amazing opportunity and want to make sure we thank the U.S. State Department, the Arts Envoy Program and all three embassies here in Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

Over the course of the trip On the Rocks participated in a range of performances, workshops and educational programs hosted and organized by embassy staff.

“Europe has been an extremely eye-opening experience for everyone in the group so far,” said Benjamin Pramuk, another member of the group. “Everyone has been so welcoming and curious about us and the states and what life is like back home.”

More information about On the Rocks, including member biographies and updates from the group’s travels, is available on its website.