World-famous museums, sacred churches, and a trio of beautiful cities. That’s how summer break started for more than 40 Lebanon Valley College students and recent graduates who participated in LVC Orchestra’s European tour in May.
The seven-day trip included three performances with the final at the MuTH Concert Hall, home to the renowned Vienna Boys Choir. While in Vienna, the group also visited the Vienna Opera House and a personal inspiration for Hailey Trump ’25.
“I am a vocal performance major, and my goal is to become an opera singer,” said Trump, who is also a member of LVC’s Concert Choir and Pride of The Valley Marching Band. “Seeing this opera house in person made me tear up because of how beautiful it was and the fact that I could possibly perform there one day. This trip opened my eyes to all the possibilities for my future career.”
“A trip like this enhances my LVC education because it gives me a chance to perform in new and more professional environments and get a glimpse into the life of a traveling orchestral musician. It helps bring composers out of the abstract of studying music history or performance; connecting the work with real people, places, and items adds a new angle to the way we study and present it,” said Ruth.
Along with performances, the group toured historical sites including Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, the Bach Museum in Leipzig, and the Dvorak Museum in Prague. The trip also included sightseeing in historical Vienna and Prague that made a strong impact on Gillian Cheezum ’25, who is double majoring in Music and Music Education.
“I have been a huge fan of European history since I was young and being in several of the places where that history occurred was so inspiring. The gothic cathedral in Prague was so unbelievably gorgeous, I still am in awe of it four months later,” said Cheezum.
Jamie LaPine ’23 had been looking forward to this trip since her first year at LVC. After COVID caused adjustments in timing, she felt grateful to have the experience as a senior and encourages others to just say yes.
“Take advantage of these opportunities that are presented to you, you never know when else you may be able to go to three countries in seven days and play for hundreds of people in beautiful concert venues,” said LaPine, a Global Studies major who performed in London with the marching band and studied abroad.
Now that they are back in the states and the next academic year is underway, many of the students are carrying forward the lessons and impressions from this global experience.
“I am truly grateful for having been able to go on this trip,” said David Graff ’25, a Music major. “I saw entire towns and groups of people dedicated to classical music and the love of art that was present in every aspect of the town. I also experienced new ways of living and life in general in cities in three European countries.”
“After an adventure such as this one, normal life will forever feel different, and be lived with new appreciations,” added Graff. “This orchestra trip revealed to me a level of music, art, culture, and life that I did not know existed.”