Fine art classes visit Ireland


Bowie fine arts directors chose Ireland as their destination because of the sightseeing possibilities and potential concert audiences.

Amanda Zinni, Staff Writer

In 2020, the award-winning band, choir, and orchestra programs will be going international, for they will be traveling across Ireland and performing concerts in Limerick and Dublin. The three programs are collaborating for the first time ever, playing different pieces that will highlight the talents of Bowie’s music programs.

Bowie fine arts directors chose Ireland as their destination because of the sightseeing possibilities and potential concert audiences.

“Ireland is an easy international trip and it’s an interesting destination because it’s unspoiled,” band director Garth Gundersen said. “The Irish people also really love music, so if you schedule concerts, they’re usually very well-attended.”

While in Ireland, the programs will play two concerts: one as a combined group as well as one with smaller ensembles.

“In Limerick, we’ll get to do our bigger works and our big, combined pieces,” Gundersen said. “In Dublin, we’ll perform at Christ Church, we’re going to do chamber music there [with] small groups of instruments.”

The programs will be joined and conducted by world-famous Irish conductor Larry Livingston.

“Our students are going to be studying with and learning from Larry Livingston in his own home country,” Gundersen said. “We may even play Irish music while we’re there, making it a great educational opportunity.”

Even though the trip isn’t until the spring of 2020, the students are already looking forward to spending time with one another.

“I wanted to go on this trip because I really love spending time with my friends and going to Ireland is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” sophomore orchestra student Annalisa Gonzales said.

The international trip will provide the students with a unique bonding experience.

“I think going on trips brings us closer together as a family because we experience things together,” junior band student Jenna Larner said. “Not only can we do that with the band, but we can do that with the choir and orchestra too,”

For many students, the trip will be their first time performing with the other music programs.

“I’ve worked with the orchestra a few times, but I’ve never actually played with the choir,” Larner said. “[It will be] a first-time experience for me that…will really help me become a better player and expand my musicality.”

Bowie’s music programs typically teach separately, and have never performed together as one group, making this a new opportunity for students.

“I really like the idea of getting together with the orchestra and the choir and being able to play one big song because we’ve never really done that before,” Larner said. “It’s cool to not only do it in a different country but together for the first time.”

To attempt to reduce the cost of the trip for students, the band has already begun to raise money through fundraisers.

“We did a mattress fundraiser and all the money [from that] is going to go straight to the cost of the trip,” Gundersen said. “We’re [also] going to sell signs that people can put in their yards …and then a large percentage of the [sales will go] back towards the trip. [The] community [can] advertise the trip and support the program.”

The trip to Ireland will allow the students from the band, orchestra, and choir programs to bond, as well as  to learn more about different types of music.

“We wanted to build the musical collaboration between the choir, the orchestra, and the band,” Gundersen said. “I think the performance opportunities, [and] make it a really appealing trip for our programs.”