Western Music Students Participate in Chicago Workshops and Visit Attractions | Education News

WATERLOO — Students in West High School’s choir, orchestra and band programs left Friday for a music department trip to Chicago.

About 86 students are participating in the voluntary trip, which includes educational band, choir and orchestra workshops at the VanderCook School of Music. Groups will also visit several fun and educational attractions over the weekend. The music department typically schedules out-of-state trips involving performance or clinical experience every three years.






West High School choir, orchestra and band students pack instruments and luggage onto their buses as they prepare to travel to Chicago on Friday. Students will participate in music workshops at the VanderCook School of Music.


Chris Zoeller



“Our students will have the chance to work with college principals who will reinforce many of the concepts taught in our music classrooms at West,” band manager Jason Dobbs said in an email. “We try to expose our musicians to different perspectives and unique techniques that can spark a deeper understanding of musical concepts that they can apply in their choir, orchestra, and band experience at West HS. We hope that our students will come away from this trip even more enthusiastic about the music and with an added understanding that they can share with their classmates.”

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Students will also visit the Museum of Science and Industry, the John Hancock Tower Observation Deck, Navy Pier, and the Shedd Aquarium or Field Museum. The group will attend the Broadway musical “The King and I” at the Drury Lane Theatre.

“Culturally, our students will experience a different region of the United States and some of Chicago’s unique iconic landmarks,” Dobbs said. “For many of our students, they may never have been to a big city like Chicago and the wonderful museums and other landmarks they will discover. Taking musical trips is also a way for our children to bond more deeply in as a school community, sharing memorable experiences together.”

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