Three PHS Students Travel Europe with the All State Choir

By Katie Pace

This summer three Payson High students had the opportunity to travel abroad with the Utah Ambassadors of Music. Kody Davis, Landon Hale, and I went to Europe with other high school students from all over Utah to share music.

The adventure started long before the actual departure date. We received our choral music in January, rehearsed in June, and again before leaving in July. Learning the twelve pieces we would perform on tour was a stressful as well as fun preparation for our trip. The musical selection ranged from Latin renaissance to spirituals and American folk songs. With some of Utah's finest choral directors, rich, expressive music, and hard work we became a magnificent choir of 150 members.

Bright and early on Sunday, July 5 we boarded a plane to London. Here, we performed in Wesley Chapel, experienced authentic fish and chips, the Thames River, Les Miserables, and the hustle and bustle of one of the world's most famous cities. Paris, the city of love, was our next stop. The city wasn't quite what we'd all dreamed of, but still had stunning features such as the Paris Opera House, Notre Dame, and of course, the Eiffel Tower. After a few days we were again on the move. Paris and London were nothing in comparison to the magnificence we experienced in Crans-Montana, Switzerland. "It was a beautiful town on the mountain side where you could relax and feel safe," said Landon Hale. The people were so welcoming and the luscious green mountains were a sight to behold.

Reluctant to leave beloved Switzerland, we climbed aboard our buses and journeyed to Austria, then Italy. Only getting to spend an afternoon in the picturesque city of Venice, we made good use of our time by performing in St. Marks Cathedral, shopping, and eating gelato. Despite our desires to stay and experience more of Venice it was onward to Germany. Here we visited Dachau, a World War II concentration camp, and the Medieval city of Rothenburg.

For most, Germany was the last leg of the trip. A small group, on the extension tour, continued on to Athens, Greece. Though considered part of Europe, Greece was so different than anything we'd seen on our tour. From the Acropolis and windy weather to the exotic food and people, Greece was an interesting and unique experience. "I was impressed by the food and the people.not the dirt, though," said Kody Davis.

Every country we visited there were places to go, scenery to appreciate, food to taste, and people to meet. Yet, for Kody, Landon, and me the highlight of the trip was getting to share music. To see smiles on the faces of those we performed for and to see how tears were brought to their eyes during our final song made our European adventure a rich and meaningful experience that we will cherish the rest of our lives.