The Shippensburg University Marching band arrived in Prague on Monday, Nov. 20 to represent SU in the Prague Christmas parade.
In addition to an opportunity to perform abroad, this trip offered the chance for SUMB members to take in the rich history of Prague’s Jewish Quarter, sightseeing the most significant preserved buildings from the Jewish ghetto, which now form the largest complex of Jewish historical monuments in the whole of Europe.
SUMB members were able to travel central Europe at its greatest time of year, as they had the opportunity to wander the Christmas Markets and experience the holiday traditions of people in the Czech Republic. Band members were grateful for the opportunity to travel abroad with their ensemble. "Traveling back to Europe with the band was a breath of fresh air,” said Cyrus Simmons, second-year student and tenor saxophone in SUMB. “Every day was a new opportunity to have new experiences and make awesome memories with familiar faces in a foreign place. My favorite had to be the Music Museum some friends and I went to. They had a staircase that made piano noises when you walked on it."
On Wednesday, Nov. 22, the SUMB arrived at the Prague Christmas Parade in uniform and marched through the festive streets of Prague, performing in one of the most picturesque squares in the city center.
After the parade, the SUMB grabbed their passports and traveled to Dresden, Germany. Band members were able to experience Baroque buildings and museums featuring world-class art. Band members then toured Pilsen and visited Pilsner Urquell Brewery before performing in the Pilsen Town Square. On their last day, SUMB was able to visit the Prague Castle complex before returning to America.
“This trip has been over a year in the making and was even rescheduled due to Covid, so it was even more special and exciting for the participants,” SUMB President Aidan Piper said. “The SUMB strives to give member’s opportunities they would not experience in other places. For us to be able to go across the world and play and share music with strangers and have that connection with them, is something we will forever remember and be grateful for.”