West Salem Music Department’s Trip to the Big Apple


• Kendra Trautsch, Staff Writer

As April begins, many students and advisors in the music department are looking forward to traveling New York City. Nervousness and excitement fill the West Salem High School halls as the big day gets closer. “Being tourists in a new place is going to be really fun,” said sophomore Annalisa Schultz, “but I’m still a little nervous to be in such a big city.”

The music department, band and choir, have a trip every two years. It switches between Disney and New York City. This year it’s the Big Apple. Although, the West Salem School District does not have a typical spring break, the music trip is taken around the same time each year.

In total, there are 220 people going to New York City, this includes teachers, chaperones, community members and students. The students traveling will load onto the coach bus on Saturday, April 13. Departing from West Salem, they will have lunch in the Chicago area then make their way to NYC. The bus ride will be an 18 hour drive with small breaks in between to get food and change for bed. Upon arrival at the hotel, everyone will quickly drop off their luggage and head to the first location.

To get ready for the music trip, choir and band students have been watching videos describing New York City. They’ve been learning more about the opportunities available while visiting. Some of the students going have also raised money to lower the cost of the trip to $1350. There were multiple fundraising opportunities through Club’s Choice and Butter Braids.

This trip will include famous tourist attractions and all around excitement for anyone who plans to go. “I’m really excited because the world in general is changing really fast,” senior Mackenzie Blackdeer says. “So, I’m excited to see how much New York has changed since the last time I went.”

The visitors will be seeing two Broadway shows, The Lion King and Wicked. While visiting New York, the students will also be able to participate in a tour of Disney Theatricals. In this tour, groups will be able to learn about the inner workings of famous musicals such as The Lion King, Frozen, Mary Poppins, Aladdin and other shows that Disney has done on Broadway. The tour will also include backstage access where costumes and props will be on display.

The New York visitors will be led through the city with a step-on guide for four hours, and every bus will be seeing different attractions. They will also be able to visit Radio City Music Hall, the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, the NBC Studio and a 9/11 memorial. “I’m extremely excited to go see the musicals,” chaperone Diane Block says, “I’m also looking forward to the 9/11 memorial.”

Free time is given to students when they are in Times Square and Central Park. They can rent bikes, take a horse and carriage ride, or shop around until the time comes to visit the next destination. “I’m excited to get a lot of free time and to go shopping,” senior Kylie Wright says, “and to see a lot of the stores on a bigger scale.” Students will be given the opportunity to dine at famous restaurants like Bubba Gump and Hard Rock Cafe. A dinner cruise is a new experience that is being also offered this year in the New York Harbor.

The students will arrive back at home in West Salem during late afternoon on Thursday, April 18. “I really love taking kids there for their first time,” choir teacher Amy Hanson says, “because I’ve been there on numerous occasions and I always find something new yet as well.”