Orchestra students hit the road

Life at Austin High School is a blur for orchestra students.

In addition to cheering on the Packers boys basketball team’s efforts at state, the school’s strings players are anticipating a big trip of their own. About 50 students grades 10-12 will take two buses to New York City to perform, see an opera and take in the sights.

“They are very excited,” said Gene Schott, orchestra director at AHS. “You can feel it in the air.”

The trip includes a performance at the Lillian Booth Actors Home, where students will play for retired actors. Then the students will attend a Broadway performance of “The Phantom of the Opera.”

The trip isn’t just about the music, though. Students will also have lots of opportunities for sightseeing, and can go to museums and other attractions during their time in New York.

Students were scheduled to leave after school Thursday and plan to return Tuesday evening. Schott said this is the first time the orchestra has traveled to New York since he began teaching at AHS. The orchestra’s most recent trip, three years ago, was to New Orleans. The two years between then and now have been the other music departments’ chances to hold trips of their own.

“The orchestra, band and choir take turns,” Schott said, adding the orchestra made fundraising efforts throughout the year to help curb the cost of the trip to students.

“It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these kids,” he said.

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