A Classical Adventure: CHS orchestras to perform in Vienna, Austria during spring break

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During spring break, the CHS orchestras will take a trip to perform in Vienna, Austria. The orchestra program does a performance tour every three years, with the last excursion having occurred in 2012 to California. However, this year’s trip is special for many students because it will be the first time traveling to Europe, or even another country.

Naheel Khatri, Camerata Orchestra cellist and junior, said, “I’m looking forward to looking at all the historical sites that I’ve never seen before.”

According to associate orchestra director Elisabeth Ohly-Davis, the group will visit several cathedrals and perform sacred pieces.

“We are playing in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the middle of Vienna, and since they are a house of worship, they require a sacred program. We’re playing a few church sonatas by Mozart and some sacred music by Bach, and another church concerto grosso by Corelli, and some hymn arrangements,” Ohly-Davis said.

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 11.35.06 AMKhatri said he looks forward to performing with others in historical sites.

“I’m very excited. I’ve never been in Europe before, so I’m looking forward to (the trip). I am very excited about performing at the Esterházy Palace, as I have never had a musical opportunity such as this, and probably won’t for the rest of my life. It’s an honor,” Khatri said.

Ohly-Davis said she agrees. She also said the orchestra members going to Vienna will get the opportunity to perform in Salzburg, Austria.

“There’s going to be a variety of sightseeing, and (we’re going) to the Haydn Hall at the Esterházy Palace, where Franz Joseph Haydn composed for many years. Those are going to be our highlights. We’ll be spending some time in Salzburg to visit Mozart’s birthplace and some of the cultural sights as well.”

Khatri also said he has high hopes about visiting the Schönbrunn Palace due to its historical significance as a residence of the Habsburg dynasty.

According to Aleck Belcher, Camerata Orchestra bassist and sophomore, the Vienna trip will not only be a fun adventure with the touring of traditional sites and various performances, it will also be a bonding experience for the orchestra members.Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 11.35.38 AM

Belcher also said he is ecstatic about travelling to Vienna as well as the music the orchestra students will be  performing.

“We’re preparing a lot of sacred music so that we can perform it in lots of pretty sacred places. That means a lot of Mozart and Bach,” Belcher said.

He said he feels prepared for the concerts in Vienna and also expects to have a lot of fun.

“It’s a big trip, but I’ve traveled before, and I’m confident that the orchestra can handle it. We will be taking tours of Vienna and Salzburg. I’m super excited to see the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and that’s going to be pretty neat. It’s going to blow my mind,” Belcher said.

However, the music the orchestra will play for Vienna is relatively easy because the focus is on pieces for competitions, according to Belcher.

“It’s kind of a time crunch with what’s happening with ISSMA state, because we’re preparing Vienna music at the same time. It’s kind of difficult because a lot of people don’t really have that time to practice Vienna music, but it’s nothing crazy hard, so I think we can do it,” Belcher said. “Our priorities are on contest music right now so we’re playing really easy music for Vienna—well not easy, but just not as intense. We always perform well, so I’m confident and feeling pretty good.”

Ohly-Davis said, “We are just ready to go. It’s going to be great. Spring break can’t come soon enough. It’s an awesome opportunity to be able to be with your friends and see these amazing things and make music together. I can’t think of a more perfect combination.”

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