It was no more than a few months ago that I was singing in Thomas Kirche in Leipzig, Germany surrounded by seventy three people that I call my friends. In March 2011 Lakeville North High School’s Chorale received the opportunity to tour through Germany and Prague. Over a week time span we went through Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden, and Prague. The trip started off flying to Berlin on Lufthansa airlines. Once we arrived in Berlin everyone was quite exhausted due to the change in time zones, but we enjoyed a nice boat cruise through the city seeing bits and pieces of both East and West Berlin. As our first day came to a close we enjoyed a group dinner and prepared for an early wakeup call the next morning. As day two rolled around we enjoyed a buffet breakfast and headed out to explore the city of Berlin. It was a day filled with nothing but memories as we came upon the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The mood was somber as we saw pictures and spent time by ourselves exploring the abstract layout of a very impactful memorial. We then all headed back to the hotel for dinner and bonding time. Day three was spent in Berlin again. We went to see the Berlin wall and received a tour of the Pergamon Museum which contains architecture influenced by the Greek time period. Our last stop for the day was the historical Brandenburg Gate. The day came to a peaceful close with our first concert across seas. Day four we were off to Leipzig where we had a small recital in the afternoon at Thomas Kirche and a full concert in the evening at Nicholai Kirche. Thomas Kirche is John Sebastian Bach’s church and is where he is laid at rest. I received the opportunity to sing a piece Bach composed titled Sicut Locutus Est, five feet in front of where his grave was. There is nothing that can describe how it felt to experience this. Our day ended with a renewed appreciation for the gift of music. Day five was one of our busiest touring days. In the morning/early afternoon we toured the city of Dresden. We saw the city being rebuilt from the leftover scraps from the bombings of 1945 and new materials. After that we spent the rest of the afternoon visiting Terezin Memorial, one the concentrations camps from World War II. This tour was extremely powerful and gave me a completely new outlook on the events that occurred because I saw the conditions in which people were treated. After the tour we left for our final destination, Prague. We arrived in the evening and prepared to wake up for a walking tour and the best concert out of the whole tour. In St Nicholas church there were over 250 people. Some older women were crying during one of our selections. In one single moment we realized that we all share the same fears, joys, and sorrows. Music brought that whole room to one single place where we all connected and we didn’t let our different languages become barriers. People came up to me after the concert and with the little English they knew, they would say thank you. I just looked back and said thank you to them because they gave me memories that will last a lifetime. Music is the single thing that can bring people together no matter what language is spoken. This trip was a once in a lifetime experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.
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