Orchestra’s trip adjustments

Tour going to Germany, not Cuba, due to Trump

Camm Pollmacher, News Editor

Viking Orchestra will now be performing in Germany instead of Cuba because of President Donald Trump’s tighter restrictions on Cuba.

Trump said that the reason for closing the border was because the Cuban government spreads violence and makes basic human rights violations, which he wants no part of until they get their regime sorted out.

Viking Orchestra Instructor BJ Engrav said going to Cuba would have been nice and he is “disappointed that a situation arises where people aren’t able to take in what other countries have to offer,” but Germany is still a great option.

“You can’t go wrong going to Germany. Musically, you have some of the most famous composers from Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, and historically it’s very cultured,” Engrav said.

Engrav has been planning for this trip since last year. He says the planning is a very long, developing process that occurs after the previous group returns. This year, the orchestra will be performing at Don Brandenburg, The Festsaal Kreuzberg, and The Volkshaus.

“The band went on tour, and when they got back we started the process. We have a registration time, we sign up, then we start doing fundraising, so essentially when the previous group returns everything hits the ground running,” Engrav said.

The whole trip costs $4,050, but there are multiple fundraising options for all of the participants. H-F wants to include everyone as much as possible.

“We try to defer costs via fundraising. We do group fundraisers, we do individual fundraisers, so the idea is to aim for reducing by at least one tour payment for every family that participates,” he said.

Senior Olivia Hamer is a participant going to Germany this spring and is very excited for the experience.

“I’m getting more and more excited the closer we get to leaving. I’ve only been out of the country to go to Canada before and everything about this trip seems like it will be pretty fantastic,” Hamer said.

She said that she enjoys how the community wants them to be able to go on a big trip like this as many adults help out during the fundraising process.

“I actually like the fundraising because I get to see how intensely devoted our community is to these kind of events. The adults and businesses in our community seem to be incredibly supportive of this trip,” she said.

Hamer said she isn’t completely educated on the closing of the Cuban border, but doesn’t agree with it. She said the restrictions are “unnecessary.”

“Truthfully, I’m not that informed on the situation between us and [Cuba], but from what I do know the new restrictions on the embassy staff members and regular travelers seem divisine,” she said.

Junior Abigail Guerrero is also a participant for the Orchestra trip going to Germany. She said she is very excited for the trip, but is bummed that she couldn’t go to Cuba.

“Opening border [to Cuba] seemed like a progressive move, but I understand it’s a controversial topic. Our plans have changed drastically; of course we had to completely rearrange our itinerary of flights, hotels, concert venues, and so much more,” Guerrero said.