Athenian Adventure

H-F Band goes to Greece


While some students may have taken a more traditional vacation for spring break, band students were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Instead of going to a lake house in Michigan or a beach in Florida, H-F Band flew to Greece.

As a member of both Viking Choir and Band, senior Alex Wright is no stranger to international travel. He enthusiastically described the band’s experiences.

“Greece is so spectacular,” Wright said. “There’s not a moment when you’re not looking at glorious snow-capped mountains.”

Wright also toured Budapest, Hungary and Prague with the choir last year, but he said that this year’s trip was different than the last because it was focused on sightseeing.

“We were able to see temples and statues that dated back to the eighth century B.C. My favorite part of the trip is learning about the country’s history,” he said.

The trip entailed more than just beautiful scenery. Band teacher Sarah Whitlock had all of the details of the tour planned out before the departure. The trip itself was sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Fine and Performing Arts Council.

“Thursday, we’ll fly into Athens.” Whitlock said, several days before the trip began on March 23. “We’re going to go north to Kalambaka where there’s a bunch of monasteries that are on cliffs. We’ll stay there one day, then we’ll come back south to Olympia, Delphi, Patra, Nepali and we’ll end back up in Athens.”

As they travelled, the band performed approximately every other day. Wright said that these performances were well-received by their audiences.

“The people of Greece are so receptive to our music,” Wright said. “They were cheering and dancing at times. We even had to do an encore.”

In addition to performing in a foreign country, band students faced the challenge of living in one. The trip was a first for some students who had never left the country before, such as sophomore Taylor Tomlin.

“I’ve never been out of the country, and I’ve definitely never been on a plane,” Tomlin said, one week before the trip. “[I’m not nervous] right now, but I feel like when the day comes, it’s probably going to hit me.”

Wright said that the inexperienced student travellers fared well throughout the tour; however, there was some culture shock.

“In Europe, everyone does things completely different than in the states,” he said.
Whitlock said that she appreciates the change in culture that the trip provided.

“I’ve always been really appreciative of how people of other cultures appreciate music. It’s definitely different and I feel like [it’s] a little more sincere,” she said.