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UK TOUR: School Orchestra Gets Olympic Dream | Arts & Culture

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UK TOUR: School Orchestra Gets Olympic Dream
UK TOUR: School Orchestra Gets Olympic Dream

Students at Valley High School and Valley Southwoods embarked on a music trip this week.

As part of the Olympic Dreams Live program ran by the British Council - the UK’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations – a delegation of over 100 will play at four venues in England and Wales.

The two schools were part of a selection of 45 around the world chosen for having athletes participate in the 2012 Olympics. In the West Des Moines schools’ case, they can think the exploits of Olympic Gold Medalist Shawn Johnson.

The orchestra will travel to Ysgol Bryn Alyn in Wales and will go on to perform a combined concert with students at the school. They will then perform in Wrexham, Bath, Oxford and London. With a little help from Wrexham MP Ian Roberts, the students will also tour the House of Parliament and play to the Houses.

“Trips overseas are invaluable learning opportunities for our students,” said Phil Peters, Valley orchestra director. “Not only will they have the pleasure (and pressure) to perform four concerts within a week but they will also be exposed to a new culture. Our students on this tour will travel in the footsteps of William Shakespeare and The Beatles. They will participate in a home-stay with the kind and generous people of Wrexham, Wales. They will tour the House of Parliament and spend time sightseeing in England. Their gifts of music will be shared with others and allow them to meet and make friends from “across the pond.”

The British Council works in over 100 countries but is particularly impressed with the relationship between the WDMCS and the UK partner schools.

“I cannot tell you how much it heartens me that this partnership which began with the World Olympic Dreams project has flourished into something really special for all involved – the teachers, the parents, the communities, and most importantly, the students,” praised Tim Rivera, project and partnerships officer for the British Council. “It’s not often that we get to see deep long-term impact that some of our programs can make,” Rivera said. “Everyone was quite moved and appreciative of the great outcome of this partnership.”

The British Council partnered with the public broadcaster, BBC in the scheme.

You can follow the group on their Facebook page during the tour that runs from March 13-22th.

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