Tag Archives: new york student tours

Bowsher High School from Ohio Takes a Band Trip to New York City

This past spring, Matt Fritz, the Band Director at Bowsher High School, took his students on a performance trip to New York City.  He decided to take 68 students in the Marching and Concert Band and the Jazz Band, which included 19 students.  The objective of the tour was to be immersed in an educational experience that focused on art and historical sites and to perform at a venue in New York City.

Matt Fritz teaches music theory and beginning band class for students who have never played in a band but want to learn an instrument.  The school group’s itinerary was custom designed to meet Matt’s learning goals.

This Q & A was conducted with Matt Fritz upon completion of the band trip.

Q.    What educational benefits are there to giving students live performance opportunities?

A.    The high school band always gives a concert performance at school. With a trip to New York City, students had a chance to get out and showcase their talents to people who have never seen them perform before.  It was a special thrill for student musicians to perform in New York City.

Q.    How did you prepare the high school band and jazz band for this New York City performance?
A.    We were scheduled to travel in the last week of April. Luckily we had no concerts to prepare for the entire month prior to the trip, so we could focus on our performance in New York City.  We did complete a great deal of preparation in class and I also scheduled after school rehearsals.

Q.    What’s the difference in traveling with student musicians as opposed to traditional students?

A.    Musicians have instruments that are carried along with them on the trip and some of these are quite large.  In fact, we had to leave the harpist’s harp home as well as some of the large percussion instruments, because they were too large to carry or store on buses.  So the educational travel company took care of renting these instruments ahead of time.  They made sure that the instruments were there at the venue before we arrived.  Also, considering we had 87 students who did have instruments, it was important to choose a transportation service that had ample storage underneath the bus to accommodate the extra luggage – which is significant.  These important details were handled by the educational travel consultants well in advance of our trip.

Q.    Where did you schedule a performance in New York City?
A.    We performed at the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum, right on the flight deck, near the fighter planes.   There were three separate performances:  the concert band performed, the choir and the orchestra.

Q.    What was the audience like at the Intrepid Sea Air and Space Museum?

A.    On the deck of the Intrepid, a steady group of people continued to walk by, and pause and take an interest in the performance. I’d estimate about 60 people passed through.  There was an area that was roped off for the performance and the Intrepid staff provided chairs for the audience.

Q.    What else did the student group do while touring?
A.    The kids toured the Intrepid Museum that day as well as performing for the crowd.  While we were in New York City we saw Mary Poppins on Broadway. This was the first time students had actually seen a real live Broadway musical production and it was great fun for them and me, too.  We visited the Museum of Modern Art, took the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island boat tour, and had a guided tour of Manhattan on the bus.

Q.    Was your tour escort helpful in resolving any last minute challenges or scheduling issues on the itinerary?
A.    Karen Goodman was our escort and she was unbelievable.  Our visit to Lincoln Center was canceled at the last minute and she was able to present us with choices for our open time on the schedule.  We visited Ground Zero on the bus and she arranged for the students to see the Dakota Apartment buildings. Neither of these destinations was on the schedule but she made it happen easily.  She also helped the bus driver out of a traffic snarl – which was quite impressive.

Q.    Did parents of students give you any feedback about the band trip?

A.    Some parents actually paid to come along and they enjoyed the visit to New York immensely.  Parents who were not able to attend said they were really thrilled that their children were given the opportunity to tour and perform in New York City.

Bowsher High School band members and parents took a well-rounded trip to New York City that included art and historical points of interest as well as an afternoon performance. There are many different venues to choose from for performance groups headed to New York including: Lincoln Center, the United Nations Building, Statue of Liberty as well as the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum.  Student choirs may elect to perform at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.  Performance groups that visit Lincoln Center may also elect to take a behind the scenes tour of this famous performance stage and learn more about the lives of professional musicians and how they live each day in the spotlight.

For more information about scheduling a high school band, orchestra, or choir trip to New York City or another destination such as Philadelphia, Boston or Walt Disney World in Orlando, take a moment to fill out the Request a Quote form online. Or, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com.

School Trips to New York: Take Note of New Attractions in NYC

Student Youth Travel Association revealed the most popular U.S. and international destinations for educational tours in May 2010. New York City was the #1 choice for domestic student travel. School trips destined for New York City will want to add the newest, state-of-the-art attractions to their itineraries. These include the U.S.S. Intrepid Museum, Bodies the Exhibition and Blue Man Group. I am certain there are also many new restaurants, shopping and sightseeing opportunities in New York City. I am keeping my list to these attractions for this particular article due to limitations with space.

School Trips to NYC: Visit Interactive Museums
These days, new and updated museums and attractions tend to have the latest technology installed at their exhibits to keep the attention of student tour groups. This includes audio and video podcasts, and interactive features that make it possible for students to reach out and touch the artistic and/or historical periods they are studying through the use of technology. Student tour groups can even receive text alerts and ‘tweets’ about new exhibits and specials at these popular destinations if they choose to follow a chosen venue on Twitter or on their cell phones.

This fall, I am recommending these destinations to student travel groups headed to New York City because they attract and keep the full attention of educational student tour participants.

Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum re-opened in late 2008 with a wealth of new exhibits and programming. The Intrepid served in World War II, Vietnam, and during the Cold War in addition to being a primary recovery vessel for NASA. It is one of the most successful and visible aircraft carriers in history. Student travel groups will not want to miss the new interactive displays. School groups can ride in an A-6 Cockpit Simulator or experience the Virtual Flight Zone. The Concorde was the world’s fastest commercial airplanes, and is open for touring as well. Students can step into the cabin and view the cockpit, Groups will also want to take an inside look at life on a submarine by visiting the Growler Submarine, once a top secrete missile command center. Student tours will gain valuable insight into the Intrepid’s role in World War II and the Vietnam War, so a visit to the Intrepid will dovetail nicely with curricular studies in this area.

Bodies The Exhibition
One of the most innovative public exhibitions of the body is now in New York City at the South Street Seaport, Pier 17. School trips headed to New York can book a stop at Bodies The Exhibition, a nationally acclaimed success. The exhibit illustrates the most intimate details of the body using the latest polymer preservation technologies. Real bodies and authentic human organs are on display at this exhibit — a fact that continues to be at the core of the controversy of the show. Student groups are able to consider real human skeletal, muscular, nervous, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive and circulatory systems. This is a learning experience unsurpassable by any other. Students can see the impact a healthy life has on the body and also the perils of unhealthy life choices such as smoking or eating foods rich in fat. Science students studying anatomy and biology will find this exhibit parallels their course work. Health and art students will find applications for Bodies The Exhibition in their academic work, too.

Blue Man Group
This high tech stage performance that combines performance art, music, visual art and more has a wide appeal to student tour groups. High school trips headed to NYC will find the show engaging because it speaks directly to them — the children of the digital age. Three men, painted in a mask of blue and wearing black, dance and perform wild antics filled with color, sound and light. This high energy, exhilarating show is accompanied by electronic music and special visual effects that make the blue men come alive on stage. Blue Man Group can be seen at venues across the U.S. They are currently housed at the Astor Place Theater in New York City. Student travel groups headed to New York will want to book performances months in advance to make certain they can obtain tickets.

Let’s face it: students these days have access to the latest technology and they love to use it. New and updated exhibits are being designed with interactive features so audiences can feel like they are part of the exhibit – not just onlookers. The U.S.S. Intrepid Museum and Bodies the Exhibition utilize the latest technologies in unique and exciting ways. Experimental theater has made many creative attempts to bring the audience closer to the actors and actresses and the action on stage. Blue Man Group does this through props, electronic music, and surprises for the audience. All of these destinations promise and deliver exciting opportunities for the student traveler.

To learn more about educational tours to New York City and to view sample itineraries, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

The Art Tour of New York City

New York City is such a fantastic city for student travel. It can be viewed in so many different ways. I have found that student travel groups that focus on the academic subject(s) being explored are rewarded with a deeper educational experience.

Over the last 25 years, I’ve been developing educational travel tours for a variety of school age groups. I began to notice a pattern in process. There were many art educators and art students who wanted to take a tour of New York City focused on art. I decided to develop a tour that did just that.

There are literally thousands of venues for visual art in New York City, if we include well-known galleries, public sculpture, and more. For the Educational Travel Consultants Art Tour, I decided to focus on some of the major art museums and add related entertainment.

There are several key areas of the city I chose to cover on the New York City Art tour. Many students are aware that Greenwich Village is the part of New York most inhabited by artists, so I schedule an afternoon in the Village for art tour groups so they may really capture a feel for the contemporary New York City art scene.

The major destinations folded within the art tour are: Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Solomon Guggenheim Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Student groups focused on art or art history are more likely to request some of the bigger names in New York City Museums. As well they should. These museums showcase and collect the work of some of the greatest American artists. Some even collect the work of international artists, and offer glimpses into art history throughout the ages.

For the art student, the chance to see timeless works of art and learn about the history of the artist and the art is often a once in a lifetime opportunity. To help your educational travel group conduct a tour of New York City, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com/destination/subject/art_nyc.htm for additional art tour destinations of interest.