Experiencing Spain with the Symphonic Band

One of the great things about Northwestern is that there are many options for things to do over spring break. Not only are there Spring Service Partnerships to places like Mexico, Amsterdam, Kansas City, and Texas, but every year either the Symphonic Band or A cappella Choir goes on tour. Usually the tour is within the United States, and the groups travel as far as New York or Montana, but every three years, one of the groups goes on an international tour.

This year I was able to with the band to Spain. We traveled around Spain to Seville, Madrid, Cáceres, Cádiz, and Segovia. It was a wonderful trip and an amazing experience that I was only able to have because of Northwestern.

Here are my top three highlights of the tour:

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History of the country: One of the coolest parts about being in Spain was experiencing all of the history. We got to see so many old buildings that have so many stories behind them. For me, going on this trip added more to the history I knew about the country because I was able to see where all of that history had taken place. We also went on tours in all the cities and it was so amazing learning more about the history of Spain.

Performing in amazing spaces: Another great part of the trip was being able to perform in amazing places. Our very first concert was in Cáceres, and we performed outside within the Old Town of Cáceres. It was awesome to be playing the marimba and look up to see buildings that are hundreds, even thousands, of years old. It was definitely a performance I will never forget.

Making new friends: Above all, I think the greatest part of my trip was getting to know people either better or for the first time. Whether it was the woman I sat next to on the plane; our tour guide who we got to know throughout the ten days; or the person who sits across the room from me every day in band, there were so many interactions that I had on this trip that I will remember forever.

Going to Spain was a wonderful experience that I never would have had if I hadn’t chosen to go to Northwestern three years ago, and it will always be one of the highlights of my time here.