Friday, June 29, 2012

Thanks to all for a great trip

For the last twelve days I have taken you along for a ride and what a trip we had together.  I can't tell you how thankful I am to be on this trip and to get to know these amazing young people. I will remember this for the rest of my life and tell stories from it and when I am feeling blue I will look back at these days with warm memories that will fill my heart. But there are some people to thank for this: First - without the support of the GDYO board of directors and the many donors, this trip would not have happened. They have given these young people an opportunity they will never forget. Second - each and everyone of the parents of the students need to be thanked for not only allowing their children to go on this long trip, but also for getting them to rehearsals, making sure they had everything they needed and supporting the organization. You have given you child a wonderful gift - a life experience. Third - The GDYO staff: Yurie Iwasaki - I don't know how many of you know all that she did for this trip. Preparing music, distributing and collecting forms, preparing roommates list and so much more. She did not get to go with us, but every step of the way, Yurie's spirit was there. Our newest member, Amber Oosterwaal. She helped with fundraising and any needs in the office. Amber held down the fort while we were gone and she had great ideas on things to do and to be done. Patrick Herring - He spent many a days preparing instruments, figuring out stage set up and more. He did a fantastic job on this trip, having never seen the stages, he managed to set them up in a timely manner and all with his usual good nature. He had many obstacles to over-come and did it well. Chuck Moore - Without him, none of this would happen. He is the rock that guides the organization and having him on this trip was a comfort to all. He worked closely with the tour company, making sure all the details were as they should be and thanks to that, this was a very smooth trip. Fourth - The chaperones: Nick Geise was the head chaperone and I think everyone on the trip can agree, he was the best. He kept everything organized and a tight schedule. He had the ability to set the rules, yet create a fun atmosphere for all.  All the chaperones who went on tour: David and Laura Olson, Beverly Geise, Celene Mitchell, Norlynn Price, Ping Mayo, Elsa Gonzales, Donna Holmes, Carliss Stewart, Jennifer Fritz, Brad White, and Mitch Magee - they were an amazing team - no kids lost, every where they needed to be and they worked together so well and were so much fun. We laughed for days. Fifth - Mr. G for putting together such amazing music. He brings out the best of each musician and gives them wise words of wisdom. His stories are priceless and his love of these kids is a joy to watch. Sixth - the tour company and guides. I think overall we were very pleased with Classical Movements and Page La Fountain did a great job organizing this trip. Our guides Angie and Lothar became a part of the GDYO family and  we mustn't forget Andreas the truck driver and our bus drivers who could put those oversized buses in the tiniest of places. Seventh - The Germans and Czechs for their amazing hospitality, everywhere we went we were made to feel at home. Our audiences were gracious and supportive. And we are thankful to the two music schools for their hospitality. It was neat to see the kids mix and mingle And finally - to the GDYO members - I have never traveled with such a fun and mature group of young people. You were patient, understanding, polite and adventurous. You made this trip. You worked hard and played hard and you were true ambassadors for the United States. 

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