Thu10022014

Schools

Los Altos High School musicians travel to Austria and Germany


Photo By: Courtesy of Julie McAfee
Photo Courtesy Of Julie Mcafee

Los Altos High musicians are scheduled to perform for the community June 11, before embarking on a European tour.

An instrumental music ensemble from Los Altos High School is scheduled to embark on a 15-day concert tour of Austria and Germany at the end of June.

The ensemble has scheduled a send-off concert 7 p.m. June 11 at Los Altos High School’s Eagle Theater, 201 Almond Ave. Admission is free. Students will perform their tour repertoire, which includes works by American-born composers George Gershwin, Dave Brubeck, Frank Ticheli and Steven Schwartz; German-born composers Martin Brugger and Gustav Mahler; and Austrian-born composers Otto Schwartz, Johann Strauss Jr, and Franz Joseph Haydn.

While on tour, the musicians will perform in parks, resorts and churches, with stops in Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Munich, Salzburg and Vienna.

Ted Ferrucci, Los Altos High instrumental music director, will lead the group of 56 students and 11 adults on the department’s fifth international concert tour. Under Ferrucci’s direction, in 2004 members of the Los Altos High Instrumental Music Department traveled to England on their first international tour and won the silver medal at the London International Wind Band Festival. Since then, the department has traveled internationally every two to three years.

Previous tours have included British Columbia, England, Italy, Switzerland, Spain and France. Participation is open to all students enrolled in the Instrumental Music Department. Students representing the school’s eight instrumental music groups will join forces to create an ensemble.

“When traveling, most schools take only their most experienced musicians,” Ferrucci said. “It is important to me that all students have the opportunity to travel and be part of something bigger than themselves.”

According to Ferrucci, veteran musicians have the opportunity to share their experiences and help develop the talent of younger musicians.

“The tour ensembles always sound fantastic and have won awards at several international competitions,” he said. “I’m proud of what we are able to accomplish musically, and the kids are incredible ambassadors for our school, community and country.”

Diane Wachs, an Instrumental Music Department parent, coordinated the tour. Wachs is familiar with the region and has scheduled a culturally enriching itinerary.

The student ensemble will combine with local student musicians in two of the concerts. The musicians will perform in Geisingen, located on the Danube River; in Bad Dürrheim in the Black Forest; and in Aschau, Bavaria. In Austria, they will perform in Mirabellgarten, where scenes from “The Sound of Music” were filmed; at Fusch in the Austrian Alps; and in Vienna’s world-famous Minoriten Church.

The concert schedule will be intermixed with a variety of cultural experiences. Highlights include a visit to Ulm, birthplace of Albert Einstein; the Mercedes-Benz Museum; Neuschwanstein Castle; Dachau Concentration Camp; the Berchtesgaden Salt Mine; and the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Museum. The travelers can enjoy a boat tour of Lake Königssee, cruise the Danube and attend a concert featuring the Vienna Symphony.

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