San Dieguito High School Academy Band embarks on European tour

The 2021-2022 San Dieguito High School Academy Band.
The 2021-2022 San Dieguito High School Academy Band.

(Kyle Swafford, Canyon Crest Academy Theater technical director)

More than 50 members of the San Dieguito High School Academy Band Program will embark on a European concert tour this spring break.

The students in grades 9-12 will be performing public concerts in Salzburg, Austria, and Prague, Czech Republic. They will also visit sites across Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

The group of 54 student musicians and 14 adult chaperones will depart for Europe on April 2 and return on April 8.

The band has traditionally taken a field trip each school year, with past trips to Seattle, Disneyland, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In the 2020-2021 school year, due to travel restrictions imposed for the COVID-19 outbreak, the band was unable to travel.

For the 2021-2022 school year, Band Director Jeremy Wuertz decided to “go big” and plan for a performance tour of Europe, a first for the school’s band in Wuertz’s 17-year tenure at SDA.

“This will be such an amazing opportunity for our student musicians,” Wuertz said. “We will be traveling to countries with such long and rich musical history and tradition. I’m truly thrilled that we are able to participate in this enrichment opportunity. The last two years have been truly challenging for everyone, notably the performing arts.”

The group worked with WorldStrides, a leading educational student travel company, to organize the week-long tour.

“This tour has been in the planning stages for a year,” said Tim Grenda, a member of the school’s Music Council who led planning for the trip. “I’m thrilled that so many of our students, more than half of all students in the SDA band program, were able to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”

The Music Council conducted various fundraising efforts for the trip, including selling See’s candy and Christmas trees, as well as playing a joint concert with the Coastal Communities Concert Band.