Band to take on London


Photo by Photo used with permission of Josh Thompson

The LZHS band last time they went to London, in 2005. This year, Josh Thompson, band director, says that he is excited to take a new group of band kids to a different continent and see how they will react to the cultural differences.

With winter break fast approaching and holiday cheer filling the air, there is a lot on the horizon for LZ students to look forward to. For members of the school’s band and color guard though, another exciting event is coming up: a trip to London.

“Part of [the trip] is a reward for all the time and effort [the band has] put into their instrument and playing and the amount of hours spent outside of school supporting the sports teams,” Josh Thompson, band director, said. “But this trip is also going to be so educational for the kids. We don’t really have a concept in tiny little Lake Zurich of how big the world is.  We’re just one little tiny blip in a large country and there are all these other people in other countries out there so I think that seeing another culture and dealing with all the differences will be a great experience.”

For six days (excluding the transportation portion), the band will be exploring various London attractions, such as Greenwich, Hampton Court, and Windsor Castle. In addition, they will be performing in Cadogan Hall, and then marching through the city for the New Year’s Day Parade, which according to Daniel Polites, senior drum major, will be a beneficial experience for the band.

“The more times you get to perform as a group,  the better you get and the more you get out of it,” Polites said. “But also, just going on this trip with a big group builds camaraderie.  We all become closer friends and feel more unified as a group afterward, which really helps us in future years. Especially for sophomores and juniors are going on the trip, they’ll have this experience and they’ll have known what it’s like to travel overseas abroad with a group, which is a unique experience that professional orchestras get to do so to be able to get to do that so early is pretty great.”

This year, a total of 104 students will be attending the trip, says Thompson, “which represents a pretty large percentage of the band.” However, of these numbers, there are only five members of the color guard going, according to Olivia Noland, junior color guard member.

“I think a lot of people in color guard aren’t going because one, it’s expensive,” Noland said. “And two, a lot of the girls have a friend group within color guard, so if their friends aren’t going, then they don’t want to go. Either way, I have friends in band and I’ve never traveled with friends, especially not out of the country, so I think that’s going to be really exciting.”

Ultimately, despite the performances and guided adventures that the entire band and color guard will have together, each participant of the trip has something to look forward to individually as well:

Thompson: “I like getting outside of the everyday school interactions and just being with students and sharing more about who I am as a person. When you’re on the plane, you get to have real conversations with students. It’s also exciting to bring my own two kids on the trip to march in the parade and play in Cadogan Hall, which has been a long time coming, since neither of them have even been on a plane.”

Noland: “I’m excited to see new things and experience another culture because I really like seeing how normal people live there, and how they’ll react with a huge band coming in. Also, I’m excited to just go somewhere for winter break, to be able to say that I went somewhere, and spend more time with my friends.”

Polites: “I live band, it’s a huge part of what I do, so I’m really excited about meeting the other performers of the parade. It’s going to be a great opportunity to meet people who have had similar experiences but are fundamentally different in some way or another.”