For many northeast Johnson County families, Spring Break means a quick trip to a domestic beach or ski slope. But for 120 SM East students and 25 of their parents, last week’s respite from the classroom found them on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
SM East’s Choraliers made a trip to Spain where, in addition to taking in the sights, they also performed three formal concerts and a handful of impromptu performances in the streets. SM East’s choir director Ken Foley said the choir trip has become a tradition at the school for the Choraliers, which is made up of juniors and seniors. Once every two years the group will spend spring break abroad giving concerts. Four years ago the Choraliers traveled to Austria. Two years ago, it was Italy.
And while all of the trips have been exceptional in their own way, Foley said this year’s sojourn produced a truly special moment.
The group performed its second formal concert at the music conservatory in Cordoba, a city about an hour and a half northeast of Seville.
“It was the best acoustics I’ve ever performed in,” Foley said. “I’ve performed a lot of places. This was the very best. One of the most amazing experiences in music I’ve ever had.”
Five SM East staffers, including principal John McKinney and Spanish teacher Linda Sieck, made the trip as well. Foley said the trip was successful on the most important metric for anyone who has every chaperoned a group of 120 teenagers: Everyone came home in one piece.
“No child left behind,” Foley said. “It was a success.”