Students raise money for Europe

Staff Writer

High schools students are always looking forward to their next break from school as a get away from the daily stress of homework, studying for tests and the balance of extra curriculars on top of it all. However, for seven students at New Bremen High School the excitement of summer break means a little bit more — a chance to travel abroad with their friends and 180 other students in Ohio — and while simultaneously showing off their musical talents is the goal, first they need to raise the money.
The two-week trip, which takes place from mid-June to the Fourth of July weekend, will cost the students $6,000, plus money to spend while they travel to several countries in Europe.
Ian Frey, a junior at NBHS, is one of the students looking to raise money for the trip. Frey has been on the trip before, having gone in 2017, with another group of students.
“The first stop is the UK, we go to London, and then we go to Paris, France,” Frey said. “After that and we go to Switzerland and then Austria — and I believe it’s when we are in Austria or Switzerland we take a day trip down to Italy and back. And then the last country we go to is Germany and then we fly home after that.”
Brianna Wiedeman, Julia Wilker, Sean LaFleur, Mitchell Moeller and Nick Wells are also hoping to join Frey on the trip this summer. Together, the students are planning some fundraising events to help them afford the excursion with the first happening this Sunday at Speedway Lanes in New Bremen.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. they will hosting an all-you-care-to-eat brunch buffet featuring made to order omelets and belgian waffles, eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, french toast, pancakes, biscuits and gravy among many other favorite breakfast and lunch items.
Adults eat for $9.99 and children 3 to 10 years old eat for $5.99. Children two and under eat for free.
The idea for the fundraiser came from Frey.
“I actually work at where we are having the fundraiser at so I just kind of brought it up to my parents and they thought it was a good idea so we went and talked to my boss and set up a time,” he said. “I think we’re going to try and do a few more but I’m not sure where or what they’re going to be yet.”
Europe for Ambassadors of Music, the program students are hoping to participate in, hosts groups from all over the United States to play at different venues and concerts all over Europe. Voyageurs International Ltd. runs the tours for the groups.
The company, based in Colorado, began in 1970 and has since taken more than 160,000 ambassadors of music across the Atlantic to perform. For the state of Ohio, Bowling Green State University Director of Bands, Dr. Bruce Moss, is the primary organizer for the biennial trip.
High school students aren’t the only ones who go on the trip, Frey mentioned. He explained there are adult travelers — who might be band and choir teachers from around the state, parents or college students affiliated with Bowling Green.
“Basically what this trip is, its a group of students and adult travelers — the students are a bunch of high school students around the whole state of Ohio who get nominated by their high school band or choir teachers,” Frey explained. “And then the adult travelers are some of the high school teachers, some of them band and choir, from all around the state and some college professors.”
He added that the nomination is simply just band and choir teachers sending out a form saying they have students who are interested in participating in the trip.
The students will perform four to six times while they are in Europe, with music that is sent to them in January of the year of the trip.
“Most of the venues are local venues that are just outside in the local towns,” he said. “But the choir does have little ‘pop up’ concerts. They sing in the Marx Cathedral and by the Matterhorn.”
Frey mentioned they receive a PDF of the music and they start practicing right away, before April, when they will meet up and rehearse for the first time with everyone on the trip.
They’ll meet up one last time the weekend before they leave to fine tune everything. Just before they go, they’ll host a concert for their parents to show them what they will be performing while they are overseas.
While the trip is new for most of the students, the seed that this was a possibility for them as high school students was planted early on in their musical careers. Frey said he has known about the trip since he was in junior high, when choir Director Patty Ruckman and former band Director Ryan Yahl talked about sending students on the trip.
For more information about the brunch buffet call Speedway Lanes at 419-629-2409.