Ruff Draft

Fine arts kick off New Year 4,634 miles away

Memorial+students+seen+filing+into+the+bus+on+their+way+to+the+airport.
Memorial students seen filing into the bus on their way to the airport.

Memorial students seen filing into the bus on their way to the airport.

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Memorial students seen filing into the bus on their way to the airport.

Reka Nagykaldi, Hannah Prentice & Colt Beat, Memorial Managing Editor & Memorial Staff Writers

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While many students were enjoying the holiday season at home with family, Memorial sent much of its fine arts department to London, England. Choir, orchestra and band participated in this once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in the New Year’s Day parade, travelling through Piccadilly Circus to arrive at Parliament Square; choir and orchestra even performed at Westminster Abbey.

Choir students best described their travels as a bonding experience, where those who typically would not hang out with each other had the chance to do so.

“Being a freshman, it was quite nerve racking being with pretty much only upperclassmen,” freshman Madison Leonard said. “All they did was support and help me.”

Time and money were the main factors holding people back from participating, as it is known to be the busiest time of year. As for the organization of choir activities, there were some scheduled rehearsals and performances, but overall, students were free to explore in the company of a chaperone.

“This was absolutely a fantastic way to end my senior year,” senior Josh Eliot said. “I have wanted to go to London for forever, so it was one of the greatest experiences of my life spending it with the people I love.”

The Bulldog band followed a schedule that began around 7:00 a.m. and ended near 10:00 p.m. During that time slot, students were able to visit the Tower of London, House of Parliament, Big Ben and Oxford University. Also, the group was able to take an audio tour of London Rock n’ Roll, Harry Potter’s London and Art Rageous.

“One of my favorite moments from the trip was the rare opportunity to take a picture next to the Queen’s guards,” freshman AJ Thrash said.

The band group did more than sightseeing and touring, in fact, they performed at the London New Year’s Day Parade, where the group marched to proudly represent EMHS with other students cheering from the crowd.

“There were no practices beforehand, we just played our school fight song that we all had memorized,” senior Megan Adler said.

Although the trip enabled the students to enjoy themselves, a sense of chaos was present before their performance.

“We had a hard time locating our parade uniforms from the shipping company,” band director Jeff Jahnke said. “Luckily, they were found the morning of the parade.”

While the band and choir students were exploring London, the students from Memorial’s orchestra went on adventures of their own.

“My favorite place we visited would be Greenwich which is right outside of London,” Ella Brinkman said. “Greenwich is where the royal astronomers lived and where the royal naval academy is.”

Along with Brinkman, senior Chinomso Ibe was also extremely grateful for the opportunity.

“My favorite things were being able to see the history of very influential people and places as well as spending time with the friends I love while making memories,” Ibe said.

Students had the opportunity to have interesting experiences with native Londoners.

“I also had a long and meaningful conversation with a woman from outside of London about how everyone has a story to their personality and how our roots make us all incredibly unique,” Ibe said.

The students were able to ring in the New Year abroad.

“We had to stay in our hotel for New Years Eve but we threw a party with the choir students,” Brinkman said. “Right before midnight, we all went to the windows and watched the fireworks go off over the London Eye, which was pretty neat.”

Though there were a few complications, the overall bonding and travel experience made the trip a success.

Contact Reka Nagykaldi, Hannah Prentice and Colt Beat at [email protected]

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