Postponement of a Unique Opportunity Disappoints SHS Musicians

Emily+Hansen+and+her+friends+during+their+trip+to+France+two+years+ago.

Emily Hansen ’21

Emily Hansen and her friends during their trip to France two years ago.

Hyunjin Lee and Emily Wang

Music classes at SHS have taken a blow this year, especially large ensembles that find it hard to continue on with performances as groups. But there is one event in particular that was disappointing for students excited to travel. As a bi-yearly tradition, SHS’s music groups go overseas to perform as ensembles. Not as traditional is the situation everyone is in with coronavirus still roaming around. As a result, the spring 2020 trip has officially been postponed to spring 2021. “I think I’d been planning to go on the trip this year and was definitely most excited about traveling with friends,” explained Melody Shen ’24, a flutist in the Chamber Orchestra.

Needless to say, some people were more affected than others, namely seniors and sophomores, since their total amount of trips would decrease from two to one. Mia Vatanapradit ’23 had been enthusiastic to go on the trip this year since it would have been her first time traveling to Europe. “We’ve never gone abroad for a school trip before, so I was excited about that too… [it] would’ve been fun but it just didn’t happen,” Vatanapradit noted.

Fortunately for juniors and seniors, they were able to have the experience during the last trip. Emily Hansen ’21 traveled to France with the SHS Choir two years ago as a sophomore and remembers the thrill of the performances and travel. There were opportunities to perform at unique venues and at places where the musicians would not have been able to perform normally. “I was really looking forward to performing during the trip again this year, but unfortunately it didn’t happen,” remarked Hansen.

Students had a lot of independence to explore the country with their friends and fellow musicians as well, which made the trip extra special. “…everyone really gets to know each other because there’s just so much time while driving to venues or before dinner,” recounted Hansen. “It’s unfortunate that we won’t have that opportunity to bond this year,” she added.

Despite the disappointment, it’s still clear that students would make the same decision if it were in their hands. “I don’t think it’s safe at all, right now, to have kids flying overseas to somewhere they don’t really know,” commented David Diao ’23, a member of the Honors Wind Ensemble, “even if [the district] didn’t postpone it, I don’t think a good amount of the parents or students would be willing to go anyway.” Other students shared the same concerns. “I think going on a plane right now is very scary… especially since Russia is so far away. I would not want to stay in a plane that long,” agreed Vatanapradit. Although the postponement of the trip is unfortunate, hopefully, the 2021 trip will more than make up for it. Until then, these young musicians can take all the time they need practicing their pieces and polishing them to perfection.