Spring Break in New York

The most recent event for the students has been spring break.  We just recently got back to campus and started up classes again.  Stories of what everyone did over break are swirling around. 

There are many routes to take when it comes to how people spend their break.  Some choose to go home, others plan trips with friends.  Northwestern also offers Spring Service Projects (SSP groups).  It’s a program that sends out work groups to locations all over the US and a few places internationally.  It’s ten days of service.  I have been a part of SSP groups in the past, but this year I wasn’t able to do it because our band went on tour this year.

Band takes an extended tour over spring break every other year.  This year, the band went out east to New York.  We take our time moving from state to state, giving concerts at churches and performing at schools.   This year we stopped in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

This tour had a couple special stops because we went to the hometowns of two of our own band members, one is from Pennsylvania and the other is from Illinois.  While we are on tour we stay with host families that are members of the community.  Almost everyone walks away each night with fun stories about their host families and the fun connections they made.

On our trip we had two touristy activities we took time off for.  Our first stop was at Niagara Falls.  It was one of the coldest days we had, but we all bundled up and spent a couple hours walking around and taking pictures.  The second stop was in Philadelphia.  We went to the Reading Terminal Market for lunch and then had the chance to see the Liberty Bell. 

There’s a lot of traveling in a charter bus for tour, so everyone in the band gets to know each other really well.  That’s consistently the biggest takeaway I hear from tour.  When we aren’t performing we are playing games and having conversations with one another. 

One of the best nights that we had together was when we stopped in Warwick, New York.  Instead of host families we stayed at a camp all together.  We were the only ones staying in the building so we didn’t have to worry too much about being loud.  We took up the lounge and spent the night playing games, having a dance party, and just relaxing.  Some of the students stayed up until three in the morning playing cards.  While traveling the country with the band is fun, oftentimes it’s just the times we spent together that are the most memorable.