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 By Quinn Tierney

  A week-long adventure to a foreign country supplied chorus and band members with not only an opportunity to perform, but various cultural and historical experiences.

  Throughout the trip, all students had the opportunity to hear and speak three different languages: German, Spanish, and French. A connecting flight to Munich the first day solidified for some students and teachers the new cultural endeavor they were going to embark on. 

  “I thought it was really cool to go through Munich. When we got to the Munich airport everything was very orderly, so the students and I were able to be exposed to the German culture of order. Being there also provided a cool contrast between Spanish culture and German because after only a two hour flight from Germany to Spain we were able to be exposed to a completely different country with completely different people,” said chorus teacher and chaperone Brian Ocock. 

  After landing in Barcelona, students were brought into the city, where they experienced their first taste of Spanish culture in the form of a salsa show. The performance was held at the Palau de la Música Catalana, a historic site built and finished in 1908 by the teacher of famous architect and artist Gaudi. The site attracts over half a million people each year with its unique feature of hosting a different show or event every day. 

  The salsa show was also the only time students attending the trip got the opportunity to watch a show instead of performing in one.  

  “Realistically, we were all very tired from our 32 hour travel day with little to no sleep, but the performance was a great display of culture and it was really special to witness it in such a beautiful space. I was also able to learn something new about Spanish culture when before I wouldn't have thought I would find salsa dancing as interesting as I did,” said senior Eleanor Posanka. 

  As well as getting to explore new places, the choir got the opportunity to sing in almost every cathedral they stepped into. Band also got the opportunity to perform a handful of times at local venues in the city, where often the audience consisted of tourists from all over the world. At one particular venue, Montserrat Monastery, without knowing, the music department performed for the previous president of Catalonia. When this information was shared to the students later in the day, some were in disbelief and immensely grateful for the opportunity. 

  “It was really special to be able to be in a place I know I may never visit again, and perform for people all over the world, especially the previous president of Catalonia. It made me realize that the language of music is universal,” said sophomore Abigail Ellis.

  Not only were teachers and students able to experience the trip, but they were able to experience it with each other.

  “I usually like traveling alone, but if I had to travel with any group it would be this one. This was a good group of students because they wanted to learn and appreciated when I showed or introduced them to something,” said Ocock. 

  Whether it was at a century old theater or performing in front of royalty, chorus and band members were able to experience several new cultures and experiences together as a group during the Barcelona trip that left some students with a stronger appreciation for their hobby and others with a new found respect and understanding of other hobbies. 


Quinn Tierney