Local bands going international

Emma Shimak, A&E Writer

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on said, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” Xavier’s Band Department will be attending a trip to Dublin, Ireland alongside Linn Mar, Kennedy, and Washington High School. Every few years, bands near Cedar Rapids go on an international trip, with the last one being seven years ago. However, this is the first time Xavier is attending in many years due to COVID-19. The trip starts on March 13 and returns to Cedar Rapids on March 21. Their plan not only includes the St. Patrick’s Day Parade but also participation in a local second optional St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Students will visit many historical sites while traveling including, St. Anne’s Cathedral, Queen’s University, Dunluce Castle and a few more. On their last day they will be participating in the Limerick International Band Festival and Competition. Jeffery Kaas, a fourth year band member, commented on his eagerness to attend. “The Ireland trip is something many of us have been looking forward to, with about a third of Xavier’s band going. This has started to be planned since my sophomore year. I think the coolest part about this trip is that we get to play and march in the St. Patty’s Day Parade in Dublin,” Kaas said. Kaas said this opportunity for the Xavier Band program may give them the chance to grow in their knowledge as musicians. “There are about 150 kids in this group, and we have bi-weekly rehearsals where we rehearse the two main songs the winds are playing, ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘Emblem’/‘When the Saints Go Marching In’” Kaas said. There will be a lot of time to get to know each other and for Xavier to connect with 3 local bands. Michelle Favorite, a junior at Xavier, who is beyond excited said, “I think it’s going to be an amazing opportunity and it’s almost hard to believe it’s actually happening. All of the necessary paperwork and practicing can be a bit overwhelming but I think it will all be worth it in the end.” While most band supporters cannot go to the parade in person, at noon in Green Mean Time zone, the event will be live- streamed on SPF TV, the virtual streaming station for the parade.