Liberty High School Chamber Orchestra of Liberty, Missouri, recently returned from a spectacular tour of Italy and Austria. Orchestra Director Mary Lou Jones generously shared some of the group’s most memorable experiences of their trip.
Dear John, Shari, and Cindy,
Thank you so much for the wonderful experiences we had on our recent trip to Italy and Austria. Everything about the trip was so well planned by you that we really had a flawless trip. You all were so patient and willing to help with the endless questions we had before our departure! I appreciate the friendly cooperation we had with Delta airlines. The hotels were top-notch, and the food was excellent. It was a privilege to perform in all of our venues, and our audiences were warm, friendly and receptive. The highlight was our clinic with Maestro Marco Fracassi. What a special privilege! Cremona was the absolute favorite experience for all of us. Our tour guide and bus driver were the best ever. They both were knowledgeable and professional yet absolutely fun to be around. In all my trips to Austria I have never had anyone dress in lederhosen to add to the atmosphere and fun. We all loved it!
All of this must sound like a fairy tale or a sales promotion. No, this comes from experience. I cannot believe how long I have traveled with students through the expertise of Music Celebrations International. I believe my first trip was in 1991, but I could be wrong. That would be 23 years of traveling every 3-4 years! In addition we did three National High School Honors Orchestras in Phoenix, Washington, D.C. and Columbus. Then there are the National ASTA trips. This has been a lot of working together and wonderful, life-changing experiences for so many students as well as myself.
I am a little nostalgic as this was my last major trip with students. We do have National ASTA in Salt Lake City to at least! I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me, my students and their parents, and our school districts. Through all this, I feel that we have become friends, and how I treasure those friendships!
Thank you and God bless,