Not many high school students can say that their band has toured Europe.
But, come this summer, Oxford High School sophomores Caterina DiCosmo and Selina Langfeldt will be two of those few.
Between June 8 and July 20, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s international exchange program is sending them and their bandmates to seven cities across France, Germany and Luxembourg.
Students in the program will perform at several venues throughout the trip and will stay with host families at each stop.
According to the camp’s website, since the international program began in 1969, Blue Lake has helped around 25,000 musicians from the U.S. share their music and see more of the world.
For campers to participate in the International program, they must attend a summer session and then be invited to audition.
According to Blue Lake’s website, around 2,500 students audition for the international program while just 200 are selected to participate each year.
DiCosmo and Langfeldt both said they had auditioned for the international program several times in previous years before finally receiving their acceptance letters last August.
DiCosmo will play viola with the camp’s international symphony orchestra. She’s played the viola for seven years.
This is DiCosmo’s fifth summer enrolling with the west Michigan summer camp, but it will be the first time she’s had the opportunity to go abroad.
Though she said she’s a little nervous about traveling so far away from home– overall, she said she’s enthusiastic to have the chance.
“This is going to be my biggest trip so far. I’m excited because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” DiCosmo said, adding that she’s most looking forward to learning about Luxembourg and its culture.
“Luxembourg is a really small country that no one ever really hears about,” DiCosmo said. “It will be interesting. I hope to get more information on the country and learn more about it.”
For Langfeldt, this will be the culmination of years of work with the oboe.
Since she picked up the instrument in fifth grade, she’s racked up quite a résumé and was recently selected to perform in the prestigious 2018 Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF).
As she embarks for Europe, Langfeldt said she’s most excited about experiencing new cultures and is hoping to learn some French along the way.
“I was pretty excited when I found out that I was accepted. It’s not every day you get to go to Europe and play in an orchestra. I’m looking forward to the performance venues that we’re going to because I’ve heard we’ll be playing in old cathedrals,” Langfeldt said.
Langfeldt added that she’s fluent in the German language, which she expects will benefit her as she travels through Germany.
When the girls return, their tour will conclude with a homecoming performance on July 20 at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s Stewart Shell for the camp community, family members, and concert-goers.
To learn more on Blue Lake and the programs it offers, visit its website at BlueLake.org.