Music and Comm. Service Groups To Travel During Spring Break

The Cantata Choir and Academy Orchestra will perform in the Czech Republic and Hungary, while other Andover students will volunteer in home rehabilitation projects in South Carolina this spring break. Christopher Walter, Instructor in Music and Director of Chorus, will take 83 students on the Cantata Choir and Academy Orchestra spring tour. The tour occurs annually, alternating each year between international locations and locations within the United States. The Cantata and Academy Orchestra tour will take place from March 13 to 20. The performers will travel to Prague and Brno in the Czech Republic and Budapest in Hungary. Cantata and the orchestra will hold one concert in each city. The concerts will be open to the public, and Phillips Academy alumni living near the concert venues have been invited to attend. Kaki Elgin ’09, a member of the Academy Orchestra, is going on her third Cantata spring break tour this year. As a Lower on the tour, Elgin traveled to Italy. “Lower year, I was kind of overwhelmed by everything, and this year I think I’m really going to appreciate it all,” said Elgin. “Prague and Budapest are old cities in Europe, and they haven’t really been rebuilt, so I’m really looking forward to the architecture and taking photos.” Elgin added, “We’re playing a different kind of piece [this year]. The orchestra is more involved…whereas in Italy it was one gigantic choral piece accompanied by orchestra.” Emily Steingart ’09, a member of the Academy Orchestra, said, “I want to see the things that most people don’t see, but at the same time I want to do the typical, touristy things, because I’ve never been [to Europe], and everybody who goes for the first time has to see [the tourist sites].” The Alternative Spring Break trip to John’s Island, South Carolina, will involve 41 Phillips Academy students and 10 faculty members. Students participating in the community service trip will help to reconstruct homes with substandard living conditions. Single mothers and the elderly make up the majority of the recipients of students’s efforts. Home rehabilitation projects include replacing roofs, restructuring or adding decks, removing decaying floors, installing new floors and replacing siding. The Reverend Michael Ebner, Principal Gift Officer, and Alana Rush, Assistant Director of Community Service, coordinated the trip. Ebner said, “It’s just a wonderful opportunity for people to come together, to accomplish something and at the same time experience not just the joy of giving, but also the joy of receiving from local people who really teach us a lot about what living life is about.” The Alternative Spring Break program works with Rural Mission, Inc., a non-profit organization that helps the Gullah people of the John’s Island community. The Gullah people are descendants of Africans who were held on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia during the Atlantic slave trade. John Ingram ’11, who will attend the Alternative Spring Break trip, said, “I’m looking forward to making new friends, meeting new people and the sun. It’s just a good way to do something over break besides just sitting on my couch and watching TV.” Phillips Academy has run the Alternative Spring Break to John’s Island program since 1996. No school-sponsored athletic trips will occur over spring break.