CATHEDRAL CITY – At a time when students are enjoying their summer vacation, the Cathedral City High School band is hard at work clanging, tooting, and chiming for the performances of their lives.
“Non-stop rehearsals. It’s tiring. But at the end of the day, it’s worth it,” says flutist Amy Muhleck.
The minutes are ticking as the band rehearses Tuesday morning with special guest Kenneth Tse, a University of Iowa professor. They are one day away from debuting at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.
“You can see the fire in their eyes, and they’re really interested. They remind me of when I was in high school,” says Tse, who will be performing as a solo saxophonist with the school band.
But, L.A. is just the beginning of an international tour. Next week, the band is headed to England where they will be playing at some of the most famous concert halls and churches, such as Holy Trinity Church, where Shakespeare is buried.
This trip will be many of the students’ first time traveling out of the United States.
“My mom was scared about it,” says Julian Hoffman, a percussionist. “She’s always giving me tips: ‘Be careful here! Be careful there!’ I’m excited. I’m not very scared.”
But — bloody hell! — this musical journey wasn’t cheap. At $3,600 a person the school had to figure out how to get everyone on board.
They raised money for the past year and a half.
Sophomore Robin Howard collected bottles and cans. He ended up earning $400-$500. He even wrote letters to local businesses asking for help.
Someone gave him $2,000. “You feel there are people in the world who do care, and you want to be like that person to help someone else in need.”
The band is used to traveling and performing in big venues. In 2007, they performed in New York City’s Carnegie Hall. But to perform in another country is simply unbelievable.
So long and farewell, band members! Or as they say in england — cheers!
The band returns to America on July 6.
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