The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

The Standard

Students attend Music Tour


With over 150 students attending each year, Music Tour has become one of the high school’s favorite traditions. Everyone taking part in either orchestra, choir or band geared up for the annual experience, which entailed a four-day trip filled with performances across Belgium and Luxembourg, taking place from March 23 to March 26. The trip allowed students to perform music they had been practicing for new audiences and gave them a glimpse into the hectic life of a professional musician.

Music Teacher Gordon Graham believes that being flexible and able to adapt to new situations is incredibly important for the traveling musicians. “When you are doing an event in a concert hall or big church, then those people [in the audience] are turning up for a concert because they want to be entertained,” Graham said. “It puts us as musicians in that rule of, ‘We have to get this right, it is really important’.”  

Choir Teacher Lisa Ross believes that Music Tour also allows students to step outside of their comfort zone and perform for people not of the ASL community. “It is an opportunity for us to perform outside of our bubble. It is a chance for each ensemble to step up and take ownership of all the hard work that they have been doing [this] year, and put it together in a performance,” she said.  

Ross believes that Music Tour also helps students take charge of their learning and take ownership of their music. “I think any director’s goal is that as you near a concert or an event, you become less and less important,” she said. “My dream is that I can walk away from a rehearsal as it’s happening and [that] the rehearsal carries on and [the students] hold each other [accountable] without me there.”

Orchestra member Sofia Janssen (’20) thoroughly enjoyed the tour and performing with the orchestra as a first time Music Tour attendee. “I really enjoyed Music Tour and I learned a lot about what it’s like to do music on the go,” she said. Janssen also said that she felt nervous at times when performing in front of public audiences. “In school, it’s like a very controlled and forgiving environment but when you are performing in public you have a new audience.”

Janssen looks forward to Music Tour next year and feels more familiar with what traveling as a musician is like. “[Next year] I’ll be able to enjoy the experience more because now I have a sense of what’s going to be happening,” she said.

Band member Rep Woroch (’17) believes that Music Tour helps students gain more confidence. “As you continue to perform in front of different live audiences, it makes you more confident in your playing,” he said. Woroch looks forward to going on tour every year and playing with the Concert Band and hopes that freshmen who had gone for their first time had enjoyed it. He believes students should “take advantage of the opportunity and have fun.”

Music Teacher Lorraine Davis claims that Music Tour allows students to have more performance time as there aren’t many opportunities to play in London. “We’re an amateur high school group. It is not really reasonable for us to compete with the London Symphony Orchestra,” she said.

Unlike performing in a big city like London, going to many small towns in Europe attracts more audiences. “If we go to a bunch of little towns in Europe, it’s actually very easy for us to get a very warm reception and lovely audiences, and we still get that experience of performance,” Davis said.

Furthermore, Davis believes Music Tour helps students mature. “I always say that the freshmen come back about a year older,” she said. Music Tour is instrumental in allowing students to grow and reflect on their time as musicians in and out of school.

Written by Staff Writer Maddie Sayre (’20)

Photos by HS/MS Visual Arts Teacher Robyn Zellar

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Standard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *