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Vocal Ensemble dazzles audiences overseas

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Vocal Ensemble dazzles audiences overseas

Sep 15, 2022
VE in church

On, June 2, 2022, 43 La Salle students, staff, alumni and family members boarded a plane set for Normandy, France and the trip of a lifetime they’d never forget.

The school’s Vocal Ensemble was invited to sing and perform at several D-Day Memorial events in Normandy after being nominated by a guest who attended one of La Salle’s Veterans Appreciation assemblies. The current students and alumni VE members rehearsed weekly during the 2021-22 school year in preparation for the trip. 

In addition to their French public performances in the town square at Sainte Mere Eglise, the Saint James Brittany Cemetery, Colleville American Cemetery and La Madeleine Church, the group marched in a memorial parade, explored Arromanches, Omaha and Utah beaches and the island of Mont St. Michel. They saw the sights of Paris including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Place do la Concorde by bus. Students snapped selfies with the Mona Lisa in the Louvre and took in the city from the sky at the top of the Montparnasse Tower on a gorgeous sunny day with breathtaking views. The crew even enjoyed a bonus day at Disneyland Paris riding rollercoasters and eating delicious food throughout the park.

“I had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to sing Adieu by Gabriel Faure at la Madeline, the very church where Faure was the principal organist,” Jayke Frederick ‘21 said. “I spent a week and a half that I will never forget with a fantastic group of newfound friends.

On day nine of the trip, after the completion of their public performances, (they still continued singing on the bus and in restaurants to the delight of others) the Lasallian travelers boarded the Eurostar for London. Upon arriving in the United Kingdom they headed straight to Windsor Castle for a tour of the castle and grounds and some shopping and lunch before heading to London. Though they didn’t see her, the Queen was actually in residence! 

Weather didn’t disappoint, offering blue skies and sunshine for the remainder of their European visit as students and chaperones toured the city by bus, foot and Tube. They saw Big Ben, the Tower of London, attended Mass at Westminster Abbey, found platform 9 3/4 (for you Harry Potter fans) and experienced the magic of live theater at a matinee performance of Frozen at the Theatre Royal. The production was a highlight of the trip for everyone and students left in awe of the set, choreography, special effects, performers, singers and musicians. They spent their final evening shopping and dining in Covent Garden before packing to head back to the United States.

“From the Beach of Gold to the City of Love, to the very market street that inspired Diagon Alley, my trip to Normandy, Paris and London, with the La Salle VE Alumni, was an experience I will never forget,” Derek Harper ‘12 shared. “Songs were sung. Tears were shed. All were swept up with awe as we stood on the very beaches where children now play, thanks to those who gave their lives for this freedom.”

Many of these students had never been on an airplane before, let alone traveled overseas. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students to answer the call to serve by representing La Salle High School and the United States of America,” VE Director Cindy Webb shared. “We had the great privilege of honoring our veterans and all who are currently serving our country by performing at the D-Day ceremonies in Normandy, France on June 6.”

“Thank you La Salle for the many opportunities you’ve granted me and continue to gift to me,” Harper added.

Many local veterans, alumni and friends of La Salle donated to make this magical experience possible for the Lancers. “Thank you. We will never forget this experience and are very blessed,” Webb shared.

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