Making Music and Connections Across the Pond

"My favorite part of the trip is hard to narrow down to a single moment; instead, it was a series of moments! I loved the energy and collectiveness of the trip as a whole!" wrote tenth grader Alden Wilson, reflecting on the weeklong choral "extravaganza" at Dwight School London.

Alden and 10 other students from New York in grades 8-11, along with one Dwight Global eleventh grader, traveled across the pond for the second annual choral program spearheaded by Dwight London's Music Department. This trip is just one of several that Dwight students take each year, steeping them in other cultures, expanding their worldview, and providing them with a variety of transformative and enriching experiences. For some students who participated, it was their second visit to London with Dwight; each year, our fifth graders travel to London journey there together as global citizens.

Upon arrival, students dove right into singing workshops. The experience proved eye-opening — or rather, ear-opening — for students, who ranged from novice to veteran vocalists. Eighth grader Kyra Spahn wrote, "I have never been in a chorus, so this was all very new to me. I learned a lot about working with other people to create something different, and it really gave me another perspective on music." Sophomore Ariana Bevilacqua agreed, "This trip was lovely and really made me appreciate music a lot more!"

Joining our New York crew were, of course, Dwight London students, along with singers from Shanghai Qibao Dwight High School and guest students from Berlin. "The experience of collaborating and performing with students from other Dwight campuses was very fun, exciting, and wonderful," wrote freshman Lindsay Berman. Together, the international group of students performed in a culminating concert aptly entitled "SING!"

Dwight Global eleventh grader Fay Rubin wrote, "This trip was not what I expected — it was better! I loved the concert and experiencing other cultures. I really want to do it again!" Programs like this, which offer our students opportunities to learn and collaborate in person, distinguish Dwight Global from other online schools.  

Many new friendships, both international and domestic, were born during the trip. Not only did our students forge new connections with English, Chinese, and German students, but also some reunited with their fifth grade London trip buddies — and all found a new camaraderie with their fellow New Yorkers. "I truly enjoyed the days full of music and community!" wrote eighth grader Isabella Venturini.

When not focused on musical pursuits, the group went sightseeing to take in the history, culture, and tastes of London — from the theatre to fish and chips! Some of the destinations tied into the trip's musical theme: the group saw two shows — a musical and a comedy — and took a surprise tour of Abbey Road Studios! This was a favorite destination among students, as Isabella shared, "It was such a special, unforgettable visit as we were able to observe and discover spaces used by my musical idols!"

Tenth grader Justin Chen felt deeply enriched by his experience, writing, "There were many highlights during the trip: the plays, Saint Paul's Cathedral, the tour inside Abbey Road Studios — all the sites were intertwined with dense British culture!"

Brought together by music, Dwight students forged connections to last a lifetime. Junior Annabella Civorelli wrote, "I will miss my new friends in London very much and wish to come back soon ... or maybe transfer to Dwight School London!"

With our first-ever global music festival in Shanghai scheduled for February, students will be able to see their friends again in just a few short months!


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