Thanks from the band |

Thanks from the band

Dear Editor:

We would like to thank Aspen band director Nancy Beyea and the Aspen School Music Department upon our successful return from a 10-day Aspen Youth Band concert tour of Italy at the end of May.

With the support of the Aspen School District, parents and local organizations, Ms. Beyea was able to spearhead the Aspen Youth Band (16 musicians from the Aspen Middle School and High School), five concert performances in Rome, Staffolo and Florence, Italy, and sharing the language of music with the people of Italy during our cultural exchange. The Aspen band received a loud round of “Bis! Bis!” (meaning “encore”) from a group of schoolchildren while playing in an outdoor grotto in Rome, and the lively jazz music had the schoolkids up and dancing with smiles all around.

A performance at Perugia Middle School allowed the mingling of similar-aged students and a demonstration of how practice and school support for the arts can lead to wonderful experiences and great musicianship. Well-attended concerts in several churches taught us the fascinating history of Italy and what can be created with inspiration. This was truly a trip of a lifetime for us.

A successful endeavor this large is a community accomplishment, and we thank the dozens of supporters in the valley for their assistance and donations to our fundraising efforts – including the Elks Lodge, Eagles Lodge and a host of businesses up and down the valley that contributed silent auction items and prizes to our many events.

Aspen Youth Band and students from Fort Hays State University

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