European Vacation

Band and orchestra to visit Austria and Czech Republic


Nathaniel Martin, Staff Writer

The band and orchestra will be shipping out to Austria and the Czech Republic next week.

Over the course of nine days, the students will visit Salzburg and Vienna, Austria, and Prague, Czech Republic. There is a certain fascination with these European cities, and sophomore Sammy Long even called them “magical kingdoms.”

And what reason is there not to call the Mozarthaus, the Imperial Palace, and the Charles Bridge magical?

“I’ve never been to Europe. It’s an opportunity to see parts of the world I’ve never seen before,” senior JT Kirages said. “I’ve studied these places, so seeing the history is something cool.”

But historical buildings and monuments aside, the European tour leaves lasting memories on the students and leaders who go on it in many different ways.

“It’s cool to play in Vienna where most of these pieces have been composed,” orchestra director Robert Bassill said.

In Vienna, the band and orchestra have the opportunity to perform at Minoritenkirche, a cathedral that was finished at the same time the Black Death ravaged Europe. And while the venues can be awe-inspiring, it can be a little more special playing in front of a European audience, too.

“European audiences are much more welcoming. They get much more into the classical music,” band director Janene Kessler said. “Parents love whatever you do, so it’s special when an audience that doesn’t know you gets involved in the performance.”

Sophomore Nicky Deitche was thrilled at the chance to perform for the Europeans on tour.

“We’re able to spread our music outward,” she said. “What we’ve been working for years, we get to play in Europe.”

Seniors Anna Aquino and Kimie Han were both giddy when they thought about how they would soon be traveling these cities with their friends.

Thinking about what made her most excited, Senior Emelia Larimer laughed and said, “Probably getting lost [in a European city].”

One point of concern for the trip is the hassle of bringing instruments across Atlantic and around the European continent. Kessler even mentioned that every year “something gets damaged” and that the hope is that the casualty is something that is easily repaired.

Broken instruments, stolen passports, and wandering aimlessly through foreign capitals are almost routine on European tour.

The odd tales that come from a tour can be counted on to amuse those privy to them for years to come. Bassill couldn’t help but laugh when he remember his conundrum from several years back.

“On April Fools Day, I came back to my [hotel] room and couldn’t get in,” Bassill said. Assuming it was a cunning practical joke played by his students, he went down and got a replacement card from the front desk.

“After I got in everything was gone. I started looking at room numbers it turned out it wasn’t my room… I got the room number wrong and broke into someone’s room.”

The Europe Band performs at a practice concert Thursday night at the RMA

Put the historical sites, performances, and memorable times with friends together and you have the music spring trip abroad.

And 2019’s trip to Austria and the Czech Republic looks to be just as breathtaking.