Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Madrid Pics

I know it's been a while, but here are the pictures from my Ipad from Spain... Hope you keep rekindling memories for the next 50 years!

Monday, January 20, 2014

A parents thanks!


This appreciation is a little belated, but still heartfelt.  I would like to thank all the chaperones and adults for all their time (plus 2 more days) supervising our children on the awesome trip to Madrid.  I loved the blog, the pictures on facebook, and being able to watch the parade live!  The kids had an incredible trip.  Not only did they experience a unique and awesome parade, but they got to see a little of the world outside of Lake Zurich, IL.   It will be a trip to remember for a lifetime.  Thanks for taking the time away from your own families so our children could experience this fantastic trip.



Suzy Marshalla

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Cabalgata: A Student Perspective

Cabalgata de Reyes
Aside from the exhausting plane rides, the sleepless nights, and the language barriers, the Cabalgata de Reyes parade made the entire trip worthwhile! If the band had arrived in Spain and had a single night to march in this parade, it still would have been worth the travel hours. It was amazing! The audience of the parade had so much energy and was so excited to see us (even if all they got to see was us rowing by to a cadence). We waited for 3 hours and performed every so often for bystanders and nearby floats with things like Palumbo and other quick tunes. Once we actually started the 2 hours of marching, we played Mi Burrito Sabanero over and over with different cadences in between. On occasion, Thompson would blow a whistle and the whole band would scatter tot eh sides and say hello to all the people watching the parade. Many gloves were stolen and pictures were taken; many locals tested their English on us which was fun to hear. The entire experience was outstanding and I’m not the only one who would do it again in a heartbeat.

Brianna Noronha

Saturday, January 11, 2014

From my Dad...his perspective of the trip

Let me begin by echoing Dan and Carol’s post from yesterday.  That was a wonderful note...and so true.
From my perspective....while visiting Spain for the first time was absolutely amazing – a fabulous part of the trip was being with such a wonderful group of young men and women as the LZHS Marching Band.  It was a pleasure being with the staff, teachers, administrators and chaperones; along with other ‘adults’ attending.   But, the young men and women of the band were exceptional and represented Lake Zurich and America with dignity, discipline, talent and class.
As a former Marching Band Booster for appx. 9 years with our 3 children in a competitive band program in Ohio – I have participated in many trips; though none internationally. I must say that I've never been so extremely impressed by a trip, that I believe will be forever remembered by all that attended.
Of course, some will say that I’m a bit biased in my comments and feelings – and you would be correct.   Biased in that the leader of this adventure just happens to be my Son – ‘Papajazz Thompson’.  I was deeply touched over a year ago to have been asked by him to come along and be with him!   Great job, Son; I'm truly proud of you.
Thanks Lake Zurich for letting me be part of this…and for being such a  'world class' organization.
Bert Thompson
Barlett, IL

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

An "Adult" Perspective from the trip

For all you brave parents who are now so relieved to have their children back, I wanted to briefly share with you a first-hand perspective. My wife and I attended the trip along with our son who is in the band.  Our daughter and her husband also came.  We were part of the "adult" group, a title which distinguished us from the "LZHS Staff and Chaperones".

In our role as "those going along for the ride" we had the unique opportunity to have a first-hand view of how the entire Lake Zurich Group - Teachers, Students and Chaperones', were conducting themselves over the ten day period.  We were with the delayed group so were able to experience the full drama of two extra days of travel.

So with that long introduction let me now tell you - how proud you should be of your children and the LZHS staff.  Let me tell you, your child was well cared for over the past 10 days.  First, we must recognize the professionals working in the background who arranged, scheduled and coordinated this trip.  Travel arrangements over the entire trip were detailed and comprehensive.  I noticed several times during the week that agendas and itineraries were adjusted seamlessly on-the-fly to accommodate either the weather conditions or to emphasize specific agenda items. This ability to keep things moving at all times is a credit to the tour guides and LZ staff who were decisive and knowledgeable of the surroundings.

Of course we all know that no amount of organization or coordination would have worked with a group of unruly and disruptive teenagers.  But I can tell you this was not the case with the LZHS Band.  Your kids were at their best at all times.  When addressed as "Hey Band!", they responded, in perfect cadence and unison, "Hey What!", followed by silence.  They were given freedom to grow and explore and they responded as a group well beyond their years.

And finally, credit must be given to the LZHS Staff and the adult chaperones. The full success of this trip is due to their talents and efforts and the primary purpose of this brief message is to acknowledge this fact.  It was my family's pleasure to "go along for the ride".

Dan and Carol Hoch

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Flamenco not Flamingo!

Flamenco dancing is one of the most impressive live performances I have ever experienced. I absolutely love "ethnic" and "world" music because the different cultural styles often overlap. This crossover between countries is really interesting to hear, and even more interesting to see live.

WARNING: I am a percussionist, so the following might seem really nerdy. I apologize. #sorrynotsorry

First off, the food at the Flamenco venue was absolutely delicious! The time of the meal was also very authentic to Spanish culture because the seniors and a few "significant others" arrived at the venue around 10:00pm. The Spanish #turnup rather late.

After the meal, the eight performers crowded the stage. Four members were part of the band, two guitarists and two vocalists, and the remaining four danced. The three female dancers each dawned a different dress, varying in style and color. Each woman represented a different cluster of emotions such as passion, desire, envy, and indignantcy revolving around the male dancer. The emotions were so dramatically conveyed that the audience was able to feel the injustices, the pain, and the joy with the dancers. 

The band and the dancers acted as one throughout the performance, but the band reminded of a jazz rhythm section. The two vocalists would sing and usually begin the bass rhythms of the dance and the guitarists would layer chords and expand on the bass rhythms. Then, throughout the dance they would comp and feed off of the dancer, which is identical to the way a rhythm section interacts with a soloist. I loved seeing this overlap.

The vocalist weren't the only clappers. Infact, all of the dancers, whether participating in the dance or not, expanded in the rhythmic clapping. One of the many interesting things about Flamenco is the many different paths that percussive rhythms can take, but certain styles do offer restrictions. For instance, many people are familiar with the Tango, a strong 4/4 pattern that emphasizes beats one and three. This was NOT the style of Flamenco we experienced. The umbrella term for the type of Flamenco we experienced is Fandango de Huelva which has a very free twelve beat rhythm that usually emphasizes beats 3, 6, 8,10, and 12. This rhythm is the accompanied by other groupings of 3 and 6. The complexities of the many different types of styles, rhythmic voicings, and improv components amazed me and I can not even imagine thinking off all these complexities while dancing. It's true art.

I honestly can't even begin to describe the feet of the dancers. Their feet would often copy the rhythms of the claps, but put it in double time. You should really look up Flamenco dancing on YouTube to understand how fast their feet move.

It was truly and unbelievable experience to hear the rhythmic styles I had learned performed into such an artistic sense. Your hands and feet are the simplest instruments, but their raw qualities highlight the impressiveness of the style and culture surrounding Flamenco.

-Jacquelyn Brown

Monday, January 6, 2014

First flight

From the other director...
We saw the best of Madrid and it's various historic and art traditions. Our guides, Emily and Maria were  the BEST! they kept us on track and were full of information and love of the work they do with groups such as ours. Thanks Emily and Maria!

Last night's Cabalgata de Reyes parade was so much fun. I was at the back of the band, high-fiving the kids/crowd and trying to pick up candy on the street which was out-of-reach for the kids behind the barriers....I was forewarned about the "workout" and I'm feeling it now....our kids were energetic and crowd-friendly, giving highs-fives at those stops, and slowups in the parade. Spectators LOVED it! Playing Mi Burrito Sabanera from memory looked and sounded solid which made it fun and easier to do all of the motions and to march better. 

Our day started out with two flights scheduled to leave Madrid....sadly, only our direct flight had a chance for success. We hear that the 77 others are making the best of it on their extended stay. Enjoy the warmth while you can! :)

Thanks everyone for the support of the trip and we send our appreciation to all of the adults and chaperones along on the trip who lead groups on excursions, gave wake up calls, dispensed information, assisted in keeping kids healthy, and helped to assure prompt attendance at the bus call well as taping the boxes for shipping and making sure the plumes dried, and flags and the banner were ready for the return trip! We think they had a good time too! Mr Nightlinger too!