Washington DC Music Tour
Report by Carrie B and Oliver C
“On the first Saturday of half term, 42 members of the band and choir headed off to Washington DC in the USA for a week-long tour. We headed across ‘The Pond’ in the largest commercial aircraft in BA’s fleet!
On Sunday morning the chapel choir sang for Eucharist at the official chapel of the White House. We then had some free time to explore the sights in downtown DC before heading out to an evening concert, where both the band and choir performed. This was followed by a trip on the Metro to Nando’s for dinner!
Monday morning gave time for a history trip to Ford’s Theatre: the place where President Lincoln was assassinated. After some more downtime in the city, where some of the boys tried out the local electric scooters, the band then made their way to the famous Lincoln Memorial, where they had the great honour of performing on the steps outside. Although a passing audience, the band drew a large crowd of supporters for their three short performances, including the History and Politics tour from New Hall School! We can now say the Holbrook march has been performed on both sides of the Atlantic. The evening saw another trip on the Metro and dinner at the Hard Rock Café.
Tuesday was our day off: the morning was spent at Potomac Mills Shopping Mall followed by an afternoon trip to Fun Land, where everybody had the opportunity to let their hair down and enjoy some go-kart racing, laser tag, an aerial sky trail, baseball batting cages and lots of arcade machines.
On Wednesday morning the choir headed off to perform at the largest cathedral in North America, where we also caught up with former pupil Leila Gbelia. In the afternoon we took time to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, before taking the short walk down the National Mall for the band to perform outside the Capitol Building (the USA’s equivalent of our Houses of Parliament). Later in the evening, some of the older pupils made a trip back into the city to see the iconic war memorials.
Thursday saw a very early start as the whole tour made the trip to Gerstell Academy (a school for ages 3-18) in Baltimore. The band and choir performed to the whole school assembly and then spent the rest of the day shadowing pupils in lessons. It’s fair to say that school in the USA is considerably different to lessons here in the UK! In the afternoon, we made our way to a church where we performed at an evening concert alongside other musicians from Carroll County.
Friday, the final day, began with a very informal concert in downtown DC, where even members of the band joined the choir for a sing-along. It was then time to pack away and head into town for one last trip to the shops before heading to the airport to catch our flight home.”