St. Mary's Choir trip to Bonn, Germany (October-2014)

The Trip of a Lifetime.

On the 24th of September, I was getting ready to go to Bonn, Germany along with the rest of my class from Transition Year, LCA1 and the FETAC group. We were all so excited. We had been asked to go to Bonn to perform in the Beethoven Fest with deaf children from Germany, Italy and Prague as part of the "Feel the Music" Project. We also went to Bonn with Ms Higgins, our choir conductor, Ms Creagh, Ms Owens, Geoffrey McCormack, John Canning and Frankie Berry.

We were so excited to learn different sign languages from each of the countries and to learn about their culture.

When we arrived at the KÅ'ln Airport in Bonn, we met the organisers of the festival. They were very nice people and they brought us to the hostel where we stayed. The hostel was huge and it didn't even look like a hostel! It was more like a hotel which was good! We ate dinner and then we had a group meeting. The teachers divided the girls into separate rooms. I was grouped with Shauna McKelvey, Alexis and Helen Ward. In my room, there were two rooms so there were eight girls in one room basically! The other four girls that were in our group also were Emma, Amy, Shauna Farrell and Zarah. We all settled down happily.

The next day, we all went to the Beethovenhalle to meet everyone involved in the project. I have to say I was nervous at first but then I was fine. Each country had to go on a treasure hunt around Bonn. Dublin was the first group to go. It was very difficult because everything was in German! Although it was great to bond with the girls and teachers and it was also interesting to see what Bonn was like!

As the days went by, we bonded with everyone involved, we practiced everyday to make sure the concert was going to plan. It was very tiring. We went sightseeing around the city of Bonn, we went to Beethoven's house and it was so interesting. We went shopping! AND we took pictures all day, everyday!-the pictures were mainly selfies and I was very surprised when the teachers took selfies with us.

The concert turned out to be very successful! We had an amazing crowd and I was asked to make a speech on behalf of everyone involved and a boy from Prague named Matěj signed while I talked. I was very honoured. We all made something very special for two very important people, the organisers Miriam and Paul. They were the ones who made this project very successful. John Canning got sheets of paper and drew musical notes on them. Everyone from each country had a colour to represent them and we all put our own fingerprint on a different musical note to show how Miriam and Paul's music came into our hearts and out through our fingers.

After the concert was over, we all went on a boat trip on the River Rhine for two and a half hours. The boat trip was beautiful and relaxing! After that we were invited to watch Lief Ove and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra play at the Beethovenhalle.

During the break, we met the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for the last time. We all said our goodbyes. It was very emotional and I bawled. I was so sad the project was ending.

I went on the trip of a lifetime. I'm so glad that I was part of the "Feel the Music" project and I would do it all over again if I could. I've met such amazing people and I have made so many new friends. The whole trip has just been unbelievable. I think it's amazing that we were asked to be involved. I'm so glad that I went with my girls and we had the best group of teachers that came with us. We all have grown so much closer and it's all thanks to the "Feel the Music" project.

But, I have to say we would have never been asked to be involved without Ms Higgins. Ms Higgins is the one who made all of this happen and we couldn't have done it without her help. We will never find a better choir conductor than Ms Higgins so it's really all thanks to her. You're simply amazing! Also, thank you to the teachers too!

Aimee Ennis McLoughlin

Transition Year 2014/1015