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New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

The student news site of New Trier High School

New Trier News

NT choir heads to Spain this spring break

NT choir students take advantage of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in Spain for an international audience this spring break
NT+students+work+hard+during+recent+rehearsal+to+prepare+for+the+upcoming+trip
Collins
NT students work hard during recent rehearsal to prepare for the upcoming trip

The New Trier High School Spain Mass Choir will travel to Spain over spring break, where the group is set to perform for an international audience and work alongside choirs from other countries. 

The journey to Spain’s east coast from March 20 through March 29, 2024, includes 80 students, 20 parents, four staff chaperones, three choir teachers, and two collaborative pianists. They will visit cities such as Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, and Tarragona.

The Music and Theatre Department has dedicated an immense amount of time and energy to all areas of this trip, from planning it, to getting it approved, and promoting it to students. Since it takes well over a year to plan, it is exciting to see the plans come to fruition as March 20 grows nearer. The experience it offers students makes this hard work and dedication worth it for students, teachers, and the administration.

“To travel as an ensemble and perform around the world is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Music and Theatre Department Chair Elizabeth Bennett said. 

Though many orchestra and band students went to New York City last year, and individual choirs have gone on trips, this is the first time in over a decade that the ensemble is composed of students from every choir class. That means students only needed to be enrolled in one choir class to be eligible for  the trip. Students of all skill and experience levels are welcomed, with many students only having taken their first-ever choir class this year.

“There isn’t any big prerequisite to come. You just have to sign up for the class. We welcome anyone who is interested and excited to learn,” Director of Choral Activities Amy Branahl said. 

We are incredibly proud of our students…They have been working so hard and have been attending additional rehearsals in preparation because we have multiple choirs, though they combine to make our Spain choir.

— Amy Branahl

The ensemble will perform with an orchestra from ‘Iolani School, a private K-12 school in Honolulu, Hawaii. In addition, students will also perform with the ONCE Allegro choir, a Spanish choir with similar values to the New Trier’s High Five Choir, an inclusive choir of students of all abilities. Like High Five Choir, the ONCE Allegro choir is for people of all abilities, but primarily showcases people with visual impairments.

Not only is it exciting that students get the opportunity to work with other musicians, but this trip serves as a lot of firsts for many students.

“Some of our students are getting their passports and flying overseas for the first time,” Branahl said. 

Though the trip is exciting and fun, it also requires students to dedicate additional hours towards rehearsals so they can be ready for showtime.

“We are incredibly proud of our students,” Branahl said. “They have been working so hard and have been attending additional rehearsals in preparation because we have multiple choirs, though they combine to make our Spain choir.”

Though sophomore Jorie Collins, a Choraliers member, looks forward to performing, she is also excited to entrench herself in Spanish culture alongside some of her closest friends and classmates.

“We have a ton of free time which I’m excited about. I’m excited to just travel and explore Spain,” Collins said. “It will be such a cool opportunity to have this experience with my choir friends. Being in Spain in general is going to be amazing.”

The trip gives students the opportunity to exercise independence and explore who they are outside of school and the New Trier community, but also unites students around one thing – their love and passion for music. 

“It is not only an educational experience,” Collins said. “It will be super cool to go with a group of people who all love to sing and where everyone is there for the same reason.”

Without the tireless dedication of both students and staff, from planning to rehearsal, this trip would not have been possible and students would never have such an amazing opportunity.

“Bottom line, we are really proud of our kids and of their commitment to being in our program,” Branahl said. “This is one of those things that [students] will remember for a long time.” 

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