About 22 members of the orchestra and choir left for London on March 31 and returned Saturday. They visited Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square and St. Paul’s Cathedral, among many other tour stops. The trip was coordinated by Harmony International, a Kennesaw-based travel agency, which specializing in such trips and approached the school with the idea.
“I hope they ... get the experience of traveling overseas,” orchestra director Dr. Paula Krupiczewicz said prior to leaving on the trip.
“That experience of meeting people from a different culture; seeing how other people live. But I also hope they gain the experience of learning some of the rich history that’s in London and some of the surrounding areas. In addition to that experience of actually being able to do a performance in another country and, of course, having fun.”
The students were scheduled to perform at St. Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, also known as the Actor’s Church, in London; Emmanuel United Reform Church in Cambridge; Old Spitalfields Market in London and St. Andrew’s Church in London.
The members of the orchestra and choir were set to perform classical and pop music, including Handel’s “La Réjouissance,” Bach’s “Double Concerto,” Chopin’s “Farewell,” and Richard Stephan’s “Fanfare and Frippery.”
North Cobb’s orchestra and choir have a combined total of more than 150 members. The small number of students who traveled on the England trip volunteered to go, including 14 orchestra and eight choir members. The trip was personally funded by students’ families, with some money coming from fundraising, said Krupiczewicz. She said the trip cost roughly $2,700 per person.
In between concerts, the students planned to go on guided tours of Tower of London, visit Bath and Stonehenge, take a boat ride along the River Cam and ride the London Eye, among other attractions.
Orchestra members Jonathan Cook, a junior who plays violin, and Anthony Lopez, a sophomore violin and viola player, said they decided to go on the trip for the international travel and performance experience.
“I’m looking forward to spending time with friends and getting a break from school,” Cook said with a laugh.
One of the works that was to be performed was an untitled, contemporary piece composed by Cook and two other juniors, Patrick Lin and Kevin Williams.
“It’s flowing but it’s got very energetic movements to it,” Cook said. “It uses a lot of plucking of the strings, so it has a lot of vibrance to it.”
Lopez said he has traveled to London before, but was eager to perform before a different crowd.
“London is really cool,” he said.
For the orchestra, it will be the first international trip by members since Krupiczewicz took over the group four years ago. In the spring of 2011, she took 23 students to perform in Orlando, Fla.
Prior to coming to North Cobb, Krupiczewic completed her doctorate in viola performance at the University of Southern Mississippi. Not only has there been a growth in enthusiasm in the orchestra, but it has also increased its membership, she said.
“When I got here, they were really searching for someone to teach them,” Krupiczewicz said of her students.
“It’s been amazing to see how the program has grown in the four years that I’ve been here, and the excitement of the some of the kids in the repertoire they’ve been able to do.”