24+ hours in Dublin

We all woke up today extremely well rested. We really really needed the sleep last night. The last time anyone here has slept in a bed before last night was Tuesday night in Boston. yes that was about 40 hours before we all hit the sack.

We rose and had a delicious buffet style breakfast, complete with Irish offerings such as Irish bacon and blood pudding.

20140627-213706-77826510.jpgHere’s a photo of our rock star flute section after breakfast:

20140627-213754-77874954.jpgAfter breakfast we had our first tour rehearsal at the hotel. It was fun to finally play again together in Ireland for the first time since arriving.

20140627-214125-78085512.jpgShortly after, we departed for St. Stephen’s Green, a major park in the south of Dublin, to play in their bandstand.

20140627-214311-78191647.jpgWe performed a combination of Irish tunes and American music, and ended of course with Star-Spangled Banner. There was a moment before we played Irish tune by Percy Grainger, which features the melody of Danny Boy, that I found to be incredible. Mr. Mucci pointed out right before we played that we are in fact in IRELAND! Seems obvious I know- but what an amazing opportunity and privilege it is for us to play this beautiful Irish music for an Irish audience, in Ireland, on the beautiful day that it was. :’) tears of pure happiness…

Anyway, there were over 350 people out to watch the concert- and people of all ages!

We then returned to the hotel for a very abbreviated lunch and then made our way back towards Grafton street for an Irish jig/reel performance and we all learned to dance! It was tiring and we all got sweaty but it was SUPER FUN. visit the NEC prep Facebook page for a video… ;)

20140627-214633-78393670.jpgWe then had a few hours of free time, where we all separated into groups to explore the city. Some groups went shopping, some ate, some just walked around a explored the sights. All around a great time!

Then we headed home for dinner and sang a happy birthday to MYWE saxophonist Matthew Kiel, who turns 19 today! HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATTHEW! (Don’t worry- he didn’t eat any of it due to food allergies)!

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As I type, we are all relaxing at the hotel after a long day. Here’s a photo of some students playing cards in the lobby, with a few words by a few of them to follow….

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Eric Chen, 15 years old from Newton, MA
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
Learning the jig because it was active, interesting, and new!

What are you looking forward to most?
The next (indoors) concert in Derry.

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
Hearing Gaelic for the first time.

Jeremy Freudberg, 17 years old from Newton, MA
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
I ate a delicious chocolate brownie gelato from a shop on Grafton Street.

What are you looking forward to most?
Seeing Mayo youth orchestra perform.

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
Tax is included in the prices of everything.

Patrick Noonan, 17 years old from Wrentham, MA
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
Honestly, getting chance to wander around and see Dublin. I’ve always wanted to see Ireland and it’s great to be in the capital.

What are you looking forward to most?
Playing the concert in the cathedral in Derry.

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
I wasn’t expecting to learn to dance the Irish Jig- and it was a lot of fun!

Abraham Zimmerman, 17 years old from Melrose, MA
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
Exploring Dublin with our small group on our own. We needed to use a map.

What are you looking forward to most?
Performing chamber music in the cathedral in Derry.

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
How heavy the euro coins are. They make you feel rich.

Sean Delaney, 15 years old from Winchester, MA
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
The service of Aer Lingus. (Side note: Sean’s bag has been misplaced in transit and we are still waiting front to be returned.) #aerlingus #findit)

What are you looking forward to most?
The combined concert with Westport / Getting my bag back. (#pleaseaerlingus)

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
The Irish accents seem fake.

Alex Ennes, 17 years old from Wrentham, MA
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
The free time getting lunch and seeing the city.

What are you looking forward to most?
Seeing the Cliffs of Moher. It’s been on my bucket list.

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
Learning the jig and the cars driving on the wrong side of the street.

Ben Hartman, 16 years old from Natick, MA
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
My new Irish cap.

What are you looking forward to most?
Buying more hats

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
You see morecar brands here like Citroen and Peugeot.

Tijs van Maaren, 17 years old from Hamilton, MA (Walnut Hill recent graduate)
What was your favorite part of the tour so far?
Playing music.

What are you looking forward to most?
Playing more concerts.

What is something culturally eye opening about Ireland for you?
Everyone speaks English. I’m surprised that more people aren’t speaking French. When I was in Holland it seemed like everyone was speaking French. (Tijs is Dutch)

-

Tomorrow we head over to Northern Ireland, to the city of Derry. It is about 3 hours away and it is actually a different country than the Ireland we are currently in. It is part of the United Kingdom, but on the same island we are on. Exciting!

Yours in Ireland,
Ana

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