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Ensemble Feature: 2019 Fort Mill HS in the UK

In our first Ensemble Feature of the year, we take a look at Fort Mill HS’s 2019 trip to Scotland and England.

Following a successful “Bridge to Britain” fundraiser, Fort Mill HS flew to Scotland and Britain for 3 performances: a parade, a Wind Symphony performance, and a full band performance. In addition, band members were able to tour iconic locations, such as Edinburgh and Harrogate.

For more insight on the trip, we interviewed trumpet player Katherine Light:

When did you first hear about the trip? What were your initial thoughts?

Most students were expecting another international trip. All the band kids were called into the band room during school and the trip was announced. I was very excited for this trip since I had never been out of the country before.

How was the experience of traveling overseas with the rest of the band?

Our band prides itself in acting professional and mature in public. The band as a whole handled the traveling very well. Despite the band being on a handful of different flights and having to handle layovers in different places, we were efficient in traveling and had a very enjoyable time visiting.

During the trip, you visited many iconic locales in Scotland and England. What were some of your personal favorites?

Alnwick Castle and Garden were my favorite. The scenery was beautiful and the castle was familiar due to it being used in many popular movies.

FM did 3 separate performances during the trip, including a parade, a performance by the Wind Symphony, and a full band concert. What kind of challenges did the band face preparing for a trip with 3 very different performances?

One of the initial flights was delayed an entire day. The overlay required the flight to spend a day in New York. Luckily, this didn’t interfere with any of the performances, but it definitely caused tension and stress about the approaching events. There was the typical chaos about preparing for performances, but our planned itineraries let us handle all of our transitions well.

This trip is Fort Mill’s 3rd international trip, following two historic ventures to Ireland and France. What did it mean to you to add to this illustrious history?

I feel super lucky and fortunate to be part of a band that is able to go on these kinds of trips fairly often. I hope the tradition continues and we can share our passion for music with other parts of the world.

Thank you to Katherine for the interview and Susan Certo for the photos!

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