Herndon High School sent 27 band students on a three week European Tour with the American Music Abroad Tour Group. The students were part of a 69-member honor band which performed in Austria, Germany, Italy, Croatia and Slovenia. The band played in seven concerts across their 15 day trip.
Their first performance was at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria. While in Austria they also toured the Vienna Opera House, went to the cemetery of composers, and received waltzing lessons.
While in Croatia the group performed at the Hall of Defenders in Pula. The group also visited the Tyrolean Alps, the Hintertux Glacier and Venice, Italy.
HHS Band director, Ms. Kathleen Jacoby is one of the guest conductors for AMA which is why she was able to extend the invitation for HHS students to be a part of the honor group.
“Getting to take Herndon students across Europe is a huge thrill," Jacoby said. "Most students are experiencing a foreign culture for the first time, and each place we travel to welcomes us graciously with open arms. We go to a number of small villages and towns where we are the primary entertainment for the week, and they are incredibly enthusiastic and appreciative to hear our group play.”
Abby Witmer, a Junior at Herndon High School, said "From eating lunch on the Alps in Westendorf, Austria, to riding a gondola in Venice, Italy, to playing on the beaches of Croatia, it was a once in a lifetime experience! I will always remember the new friendships I made and how my existing Herndon friendships deepened."