“It brings everything to life in full color:” West Bend band ready for trip to Greece

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WEST BEND -- The West Bend High School band is on the move and ready to march all the way across the Atlantic.

“It’s always seemed so far off, but then this week it’s just like, 'it’s here! Oh my God,'" said junior saxophonist Jake Clemetson.

On Saturday, March 25th, 45 students – along with teachers and chaperones – leave for a nine-day trip to Greece.

“I’m super excited to see the different culture because Greece is so different from here," senior drum major Sarah Fleischmann stated.

“I think a lot of us are really excited to see the ruins in Athens as well," Clemetson added.

The international excursions started in 2005, and happen once every three years.

West Bend High School band prepares for Greece

“They’re learning about other cultures and they’re learning about other people, and it’s good for them to not be so isolated and insular,"  said band director Leah Duckert.

Previous groups toured England twice -- Ireland and Italy, and now, this year’s students will immerse themselves in Greek history and culture – past and present.

West Bend High School band prepares for Greece

“All of a sudden, it’s real, and it brings everything to life in full color," Duckert said of the chance to experience things they've only read about. "And it’s just so important and so exhilarating for them. They will have a love of travel from here on out.”

West Bend High School band prepares for Greece

“Just taking everyone and going, it’s so much more exciting," Fleischmann added, saying the band is her family. "And making friendships and memories together that we’re all going to remember for the rest of our lives, it’s really cool.”

Besides all the touring, there will be a pair of performances – including one joint effort with a Greek band.

West Bend High School band prepares for Greece

“It doesn’t matter if we can’t speak the same language or where we go because everyone likes music and everyone can relate," said Fleischmann.