During spring break, beautiful Austria and Czech Republic were invaded by the ‘Red Sea’…170 Bloomingdale Senior High School’s (BSHS) music students that is! Downtown Vienna and Prague were filled with ‘The Sound Of Music’ as the band played through the streets as locals and other tourists heard and felt the BSHS spirit.
Evan Hydock, a BSHS senior and the drumline captain said, “I’ve always wanted to travel outside of the U.S.; visiting Europe has really opened my mind to realize all of the wonders the world had to offer. In the U.S., we tend to think that the ‘American way’ is the only way. But after visiting Vienna and Prague, you are forced to immerse yourself into a whole new culture and discover a ‘new way’ of doing things. It’s a bit out of the norm at first, but it is an experience that is more than worth it.”
The rich and vibrant sound of the orchestra and chorus filled the Vienna Community Church, the Peterskirche, Prague’s Church of the Holy Saviour and the Church of St. Nicholas in Old Town Square.
Trey Hydock, a BSHS sophomore and first chair viola in Chamber said, “The cities of Vienna and Prague are just so full of culture and history. When you walk through the streets, all around you are sculptures and beautiful works of architecture…there is really nothing like it in America. The art and the culture pervade every part of the cities, and it was wonderful to experience the beauty that they had to offer.”
For several years, the trip has been organized through Youth Music Of The World, which creates and organizes performance travel programs to the world’s most prestigious countries. The chorus is under the direction of Jason Locker, band director Jon Sever and orchestra director Beverly Sutherland.
One of the parent-chaperones, Cheryl Kehrmeyer, said, “It was absolutely amazing to see and hear our students performing in the beautiful cathedrals and to watch the band march through the town squares. All of the performances were packed with such appreciative fans from all over the world. We traveled with 170 students, who all worked so hard in the months leading up to this trip, really represented our community well and made it easy for the parents and chaperones—and made us all so proud.”
Her son, Jake Kehrmeyer, a BSHS sophomore in the chorus and on the wrestling team, said, “It was a great opportunity to perform in these historic cathedrals alongside my classmates and to experience other cultures.”
For more information about Bloomingdale Senior High School, the music department or to contact Principal Sue Burkett, visit http://bloomingdale.mysdhc.org or call 744-8018. BSHS is located at 1700 E .Bloomingdale Ave. in Valrico.