Who would of thought that going on a school trip with ninety-four students and ten chaperones to Italy would turn out to be the trip of a lifetime? These pictures pretty much sum up the amazing adventure we were about to go on starting April 11 . Every detail was planned and coordinated by our outstanding music teachers at BCHS. I knew they were amazing before this trip, but I gained a new respect for them after this outstanding experience that would last ten extraordinary days.
Here is just a snippet of the 10 wonderful days of music:
Destination Calgary airport.
Group 1 departing for Amsterdam on route to Venice.
Group 2 departing for Toronto on route to Venice
- Our students performing for unsuspecting audience in Amsterdam airport joined by two unknown travellers much to the delight of travellers
- Landing in Venice tired but excited Saturday, APRIL 12TH, 2014AT 6.P.M. arriving at our hotel Hotel Villa Florita
Sunday, April 13th Venice, Italy DAY TWO
Our days would often begin early,so that we could fit in as much as possible for our students.
Day starts at 6 a.m. Arriving at Tronchetto Parking lot to transfer by boat to San Marco Area.
- Mass at St. Mark’s Basilica
- Gondola ride
- Mask making workshop and painting masks ( a lot of fun had by all even the chaperones made masks )
Monday, April 14th Venice DAY THREE
Day begins at 7 a.m. arrive back at hotel after 11:00 p.m.
Each night we debrief with students and each other ending with a prayer
- St. Mark’s Basilica tour
- Visit San Vidal Church
- Pizza Supper where we met up with a choir from South Africa singing together in a moving moment that brought tears to many eyes as the two choirs spontaneously joined in to sing for each other and then join in together to sing shosholoza
- Concert Interpreti Veneziani program Vivaldi/Bach/Hasse
Tuesday, April 15th Cremona DAY FOUR
Day begins at 6 a.m. for a two and a half hour bus ride to the Cremona
- A visit to Museo Stradivariano
- Students perform in courtyard of Museo Ala Ponzone facts ( first official concert of the tour and it was delightful)
- Modena Balsamic Vinegar factory tour ,very tasty and what a beautiful location (got to bring back many gifts for families and friends)
- Arrive at our hotel in Bologna ( Grand Hotel Bologna) another beautiful little town
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16th Bologna, Italy DAY FIVE
6:30 a.m. start
- Walking tour through beautiful city . So many beautiful churches and squares in all these spots
- Lunch where we attend a great cooking school and make pasta Vecchia Scuola Bolognese (the lunch they made for us was amazing,but we had so much fun making linguini together in groups. The students sang to the owners and helpers to thank them for such a delightful afternoon.
- Arrive at Grand Hotel Bologna E del Congress
Thursday, April 17th Florence and Assisi DAY SIX
FACTS: start 6:30 a.m.
- Guided tour Basilica San Lorenzoo
- 3 p.m. performance ( second of the tour)
- Leave for Assisi
Friday, April 18th Assisi DAY SEVEN
FACTS: start a little later this morning
- Visit the Basilica in Santa Maria Degli Angeli
- Held our own liturgy for Good Friday which was also amazing. The organ playing done by our student . The horn playing by our choir teachers husband and the beautiful readings and prayers done by students and staff made this one of my favourite memories of the trip.
- Stayed at Hotel Casa Leonori
- A talent show by students and chaperones ( loads of laughs and fun )
Saturday, April 19th ROME
FACTS: start 6:00 a.m.
- Tour of St. Peters Basilica, Vatican museum, Sistine Chapel
- Walking tour of Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps
- Dinner at Papa Rex with opera singing and an accordion player and a nice meal
- This by far was the most hectic day keeping track of all our students in such large crowds
Sunday, April 20th Easter Sunday in the Vatican Pope Francis
FACTS: Early start so we could arrive in the square by 7:30 a.m.
- Just being at the Vatican on Easter Sunday
- Listening to the message in many languages
- Having this fantastic experience with so many wonderful students and staff
There is absolutely no way to really tell you how appreciative I am to be able to have spent the ten days together with students and colleagues. The organization was exemplary. The students were unbelievably well behaved and represented themselves and the school exceptionally well. My most favorite part was being able to connect with students on a different level and be exposed to their wonderful talents. Now when I see them in the hall we can smile and talk with each other. We have a shared experience and memories that will last a lifetime. I absolutely loved all the music as I believe music can heal the body,mind and spirit. I am extremely grateful for this experience as it helped me connect as a school counsellor with students in a way I would never have been able to previously. The trip was a mental health break which I will treasure forever.