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American Music Travels Abroad

Nicole Gunderson, Staff

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Every summer, through American Music Abroad, about 100 students from five states travel to Europe for 17 days to play and sing in different countries. CHS band director Chris Gnagey is one of nine directors that chaperone the students on the trip.

The Gold Tour of AMA takes students from Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut. Keith Hodgson has been the head director for seven years, and he dedicates a lot of time to keeping all 100 or more students safe while on the trip. The nine directors all work very hard to make sure everyone on the trip is safe and having fun.
The trip is on average about $6000, and raising the money can be difficult for students.
“I wrote letters to family members explaining the trip and asking for donations” junior Joey Ward explained.

Sophomores Chris Kim and Riley Sherwin both sold things like baked goods and candies to try to raise the money.

The 2016 itinerary included five countries, including Austria, Germany, France, Luxembourg, and Switzerland. Every year the itinerary is different, but the Gold Tour always goes to Westendorf, an Austrian town, and Dachau, a concentration camp in Germany.

“Visiting Dachau was a really important experience, and it was very powerful. I’m glad I went, I think it’s really good that the trip takes so many students every year'” junior Taneen Momeni said.

The overall favorite country the trip visits is Austria.

“We get a free day in Westendorf to go up the Alps and see the cows. In my opinion that’s the best day of the whole trip,” sophomore Riley Sherwin said.

American Music Abroad plans their trips far in advance, and the directors start informing their students about the Gold Tour early in the school year.

Sophomores Jackson Seagroves and Kate Lawrence both plan to travel with AMA in the near future.

“I love music, and I’ve heard lots of good things about the trip from people who have gone before.” Kate Lawrence said.

Most students only go once, but some are lucky enough to travel with AMA multiple times. When asked if he will be going again, Chris Kim exclaimed, “Yes, I hope so!”

The Student News Site of Catonsville High School.
American Music Travels Abroad