Dalius Abarius, who staged the ceremony, kept the programme of the event and details secret until the very last minute. The little that was known about the programme included performances by the Lithuanian National Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Modestas Pitrėnas, of Kaunas State Choir, and Čiurlionis Art School mixed children's choir.
Specially for the ceremony, Kipras Mašanauskas composed a musical piece called Sąšauka (Consonance). The opening sounds came from the belfry of Vilnius University, followed by chords of Saint Johns Church organ and rhythmical drumbeats. Then the orchestra joined in and the piece culminated with voices of the choir.
To connect Vilnius with 27 other countries, the organizers had filmed musicians in all EU capitals performing the same piece synchronously with the orchestra and singers in Lithuania.
In the courtyard of one of the oldest European universities, a three-tier stage accommodated the orchestra and singers who gave a musical performance of incredible tension, relieved only by the applause after sounding the last notes. Following a saxophone performance of Kęstutis Vaiginis, the guests and the choir joined in for a rendition of the Lithuanian national anthem.
About one hundred VIPs observed the performances from a special box. The VIPs included three presidents - the European Commission's José Manuel Barroso, the European Council's Herman Van Rompuy, and Lithuania's Dalia Grybauskaitė.
"Lithuanian sutartinės perfectly illustrate what the Presidency of the Council is about. Ability to reach concord, make different voices come together and deliver a meaningful result is the headline target of the Lithuanian Presidency. We will have to mobilize the whole Europe and find agreement," President Grybauskaitė said in her address. "May this unisonous and loud sound of drums serve as a reminder to keep the tempo and rapidly adopt decisions that all Europeans need. May the hearts of all people in Europe beat in unison."
European Council President Van Rompuy, too, praised the performance, saying the musical piece accurately captured the essence of the European Union.
"Your courage and perseverance which has already impressed many when you liberated yourselves from the Soviet rule. Your courage and perseverance did so once again as you worked hard to overcome the recent financial crisis. Yours is a remarkable achievement that can inspire others," he said.
Listening to the Lithuanian anthem, Van Rumpuy said he thought of Europe.
"Europe is not something far away in Brussels. Now Europe is here, daily, in Vilnius, in Klaipėda, in all cities of Lithuania and member countries. Europe, as Vaclav Havel once said, is the homeland of our homelands," the president of the European Council said.
Also attending the event, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso praised Lithuania's achievements of the last decades.
"I see your presidency also as a symbolic transition from the position of a country that has benefited from membership in the EU to a member state that also shapes responsibility for pushing our European project in a constructive and self-confident manner," he said.