An Augustana College Band member from Le Mars is safely out of Egypt. Twenty-one-year-old Jeff Burwitz, the son of Don and Linda Burwitz, is a junior who plays low brass with the Sioux Falls college’s band. The Augustana band’s three-week tour of Egypt took them to Cairo, but Don Burwitz says the political turmoil cut short the last part of their travel plans last week.
“It started all coming together where they had to move from their downtown hotel, I think it was Thursday, and around Friday they had to move to a hotel near the airport,” Burwitz said. “That’s where they were at until they eventually flew out. He got to fly to Amsterdam Sunday there and got in around two o’clock in the afternoon our time.” He says his son and the college have been updating them.
“There was some communication from the college,” Burwitz said. “We did have a couple of landline calls from him when they were able to make the landlines out and when he got to Amsterdam he sent us an e-mail on that.” The Le Mars Community High School graduate did not say he was in danger.
“He certainly reflected they thought they were safe and the crew that was with them from Augustana College helped them out to be in a safe zone on that,” he said. The first two Augustana groups, including Jeff Burwitz, are scheduled to return to Sioux Falls tonight. The last members of the band are expected to arrive in Sioux Falls Tuesday.
By Joanne Glamm, KLEM, Le Mars