The Colorado Academy 2016 Student Trip was an amazing success! The orchestra at St. Pierre made amazing leaps. Upon arrival, Conductor Mackly had an extravagant concert planned, where the orchestra played 6 or 7 songs that they had been working on. I was amazed. The orchestra sounded like a beginner American orchestra. To think that the students playing truly complex classical pieces had, just 4 years before, never even heard of a violin! It’s just crazy. I then continued Mackly’s work on the pieces the orchestra had prepared, working with mainly the strings. I worked with the string players for 2 days, working on and polishing the songs they had already learned the first day, and preparing a new song for them to play on the second day. The 8 or 9 string players that I worked with showed such passion and drive for getting better; a drive that I can honestly say I have never experienced, even with my experience as a musician in America. While Mackly worked with the brass and woodwinds on day 2, I worked with the string players to learn this new song. Finally, at the end of the long day, all 19 students from Colorado Academy came to hear the orchestra play an official concert. For the concert, the students in the orchestra showed such pride for their orchestra, they even dressed up… The orchestra played 3 of their best songs, and the new song I had taught them over the course of the day. The concert was outstanding, once again. Everyone was amazed. They had made such great progress from the last time I had heard them, in November 2015. It was an awesome, awesome trip.