While most students went South for spring break, the Wind Ensemble went East— to Germany.
Throughout the week, this 40 member group travelled first within in United States and then to perform concerts in three cities within Germany including Sembach, Mannheim and Delbruck, according to oboe player Brigid Donahue.
These trips are organized every three years and provide an important cultural experience to the students.
“Through international travel, our students gain a much greater understanding and appreciation of America and its people when experiencing life in a different country,” Dr. Mark Reimer, Director of Music, said. “These trips also instill in our students a love and understanding of people around the world and the knowledge that the world is much smaller and more interesting than we might realize.”
The students were able to lodge with host families in Sembach and this was but one aspect of the trip that helped facilitate cultural learning.
“Our families taught us about their cultures and traditions, as well as some of their language,” trombone player Emily Downer said. “When we had to leave, our hosts were so sad.”
The student group was also exposed to another side of the culture including a visit to Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp.
Like most who walk those haunting grounds, Downer felt both humbled and enlightened.
In addition to gaining cultural knowledge, the students of the trip represent CNU and they “helped spread awareness of our university to all corners of the world,” Downer said.
These tours also are valuable recruitment methods for all of CNU’s ensembles. The trip to Germany and others of its kind are funded through the university and CNU’s Friends of Music.
“Various music enthusiasts on campus are eager to help make these experiences possible for our talented and dedicated students,” Reimer said.
Music enthusiasts can hear the delights of the wind ensemble at the their next concert on Monday, March 20 from 7-8p.m. at the Virginia Beach Central Library.