Choir and Band Take on Europe

Though plenty of spring break vacation stories have circulated, few compare to the Fenwick band and choir’s trip to Europe. After weeks of anticipation, a group of fifty-two students, teachers, and chaperones journeyed across the Atlantic to perform in Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic.

At their first destination, Budapest, Hungary, the students roamed the streets, visiting such celebrated sites as Old Heroes Square and the Fisherman’s Bastion, and performing in a theater for crowds to hear.

The group stayed longest at their second destination: Vienna, Austria. There, students visited the House of Music, saw the graves of both Beethoven and Mozart, and toured the Schönbrum Palace and its gardens, acquainting themselves with Austrian history along the way.

Junior Kayla Romero readily voices that she would “love the opportunity to go back and enjoy the late-night carnivals and Sachertorte cake.”

Though these sites and attractions were enchanting, the group’s performance proved to be the most valuable of all.

Junior Erinn Frank remembers that the group was “honored to play in an antique and gorgeous church,” and, as she puts it, that “the experience was quite unique because of the difference of sound that we created in the church versus in a theater.”

Certainly, the transition from Fenwick’s auditorium to historic stages proved a shocking one.

The group reached its final destination, Prague, Czech Republic, by bus. There, students dined on a cruise down the Vltava river, searched for the famed ‘John Lennon wall,’ and watched the city go by from the St. Charles Bridge. The final performance was given in Prague Hlahol, a concert hall in which the likes of composers Antonin Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana have stood. Though they only performed three concerts, the Fenwick band and choir amassed quite an audience.

Wind Ensemble director Mr. Thompson, Concert Band conductor and head of the Music Department Ms. Capito, and choir director Mr. Roach all had hands in organizing the trip; they hoped that it would offer students an opportunity to “be exposed to different cultures and to share American-style music with those in Europe,” Frank says. Considering the resoundingly positive feedback thus far, the trip can be considered a success.

Frank reflects on her own experience, saying, “personally, I was amazed by the culture there and the differences between Europe and America. I also discovered that music, especially classical, is much more appreciated in Europe than in America. […] We were able to experience the importance of each city and we went on a myriad of tours that were a true eye-opener for us so we could appreciate another country’s culture. The fact that we were able to play in three historically breathtaking cities was a very special experience for us.”

Evidently, the trip for exceeded its expectations.

Romero leaves us with a final sentiment: even though the trip’s “final bow has been taken, […] everyone who went would agree that it was unforgettable and they would go back in a heartbeat.” Hopefully, students will have the opportunity to take the trip for years to come.