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Post-Tour Reflections

After 12 long days of adventure, our tour of Eastern Europe is over. We’ve experienced countless new things, and there’s quite a bit to reflect upon; I don’t think I can adequately express all of the emotions that are running through my head right now. But a picture is worth a thousand words, so perhaps […]

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Day 11: Our Last Day

The past few days in Budapest have been filled with varying experiences since the majority of our time was spent visiting sites in small groups. Today, while some other groups spent their afternoon visiting the second largest Synagogue in the world, relaxing at local cafes, and visiting the the Botanical Gardens, my group decided to […]

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Day 10: Unity

Egység,” or unity in Hungarian, is probably the word that best describes the past 10 days. One orchestra, made up of 103 different people, with different backgrounds and different stories, coming together to travel and perform, is a truly wonderful feat. Despite the inherent divisions that come with playing chamber music, such as the separate […]

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Day 9: Goodbye Poland, Hello Hungary!

We started our day today in Zakopane with a long day of transit ahead. The weather had taken a turn for the better; after a few days of growingly uncomfortable heat, we had a thunderstorm followed by a cool, crisp day that made a Summer’s day abroad feel a bit more like an Autumn day […]

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Day 8: Zakopane

In the morning, we performed for children from local schools. We performed an abbreviated program, with various cuts in the pieces. For most of our audience, this was probably the first time they had ever attended an orchestra concert. I hope they enjoyed their experience, because for many members of our orchestra, attending their first […]

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Day 7: Auschwitz Reflections

“Arbeit macht frei” – Work sets you free. We set out to the distant town of Auschwitz from the Penderecki Center. As bus rides go, the roads were familiar: bumpy, long, but fun. The atmosphere of the bus was much more restrained and hushed, though. Auschwitz was a place that demanded respect for its symbolism […]

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Day 6: At the Penderecki Center

Today was our first day at the Penderecki Center! We were able to get up pretty late that day, as there wasn’t anything planned immediately that morning. We got our first taste of the food at the Penderecki Center, which was delicious! After breakfast we had some free time to do whatever we wanted before […]

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Day 5: Discovering Krakow

Today we set out early in the morning and drove from the quaint city of Wroclaw to the larger and much older city of Kraków. With a long drive ahead of us and a lack of WiFi, we found new ways of entertaining ourselves, including making up our own card games and riddles, and of […]

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Day 4: Arrival in Poland!

Day four of our trip included many new things, most importantly our journey to a new country! An early breakfast prepared us for the five hour drive from Berlin to Wrocław, Poland. On the way, much of the scenery was very similar to that of Berlin suburbs with very flat land and cute clusters of […]

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Day 3: The Berlin Philharmonic

Today was Day 3 as part of the GTCYS Eastern Europe Tour with the Berlin Philharmonic filling our day’s events. In the morning session, the symphony orchestra had the opportunity to work with Stephan Koncz, one of the 12 esteemed cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic, in a Berlin Philharmonic workshop. Madeline Sheard, a Symphony cellist, […]

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