The District 99 Honors Band, which is comprised of 75 students from both North High School and South High School in Downers Grove, is on a European Tour until June 24.
The itinerary includes a stop in Rome and Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany. Students will participate in numerous sightseeing trips and will perform for thousands of European citizens during four community concerts. Students will stay with host families while in Germany. The band will also work in an educational clinic with the U.S. Army Field Band of Europe at its base in Heidelberg, Germany.
Students auditioned to be members of the District 99 Honors Band. The entire cost of the trip is funded through student-led fundraisers.
“This trip is a wonderful opportunity for our students to learn more about the world and immerse themselves in a new culture,” said Glenn Williams, fine arts chair at South High School. “Music is truly the only international language, and we know it will greatly enrich the musical experience of our students.”
To keep family and friends updated throughout the trip, the band directors have established a blog that will include student reflections and journal entries. An “app” has also been created, which link to the band’s Twitter feed and YouTube videos. See http://d99honorsband2012.blogspot.com/ for details on how to access the information.
“The blog and app will keep us in touch families back home, and we invite everyone back home to live vicariously by using these virtual communication tools,” said Brayer Teague, fine arts department chair at North High School.
The tour is the seventh trip as part of an ongoing cultural and musical exchange with Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany. District 99 has also hosted German students, and forged connections and friendships for nearly 1,000 students from both communities since 1985.
In addition to Williams and Teague, William Miller from North High and Craig Roselieb from South High will serve as tour directors. Additional chaperones include Joy Belt-Roselieb (South High Choirs), Jennifer Mullen (District 99 Orchestras), Christine Miller and Terri Williams.