Sixty-three students and parents with the Portsmouth West High School Choir recently traveled via Carnival Cruise to Nassau, Bahamas. The group departed from Port Canaveral, Fla., and boarded the Sensation.
The tour consisted of a four-day/three-night stay. The trip provided a day on the island, where the students were able to observe the customs and music of the Bahamian culture. While aboard the ship, the students performed impromptu vocal selections as well as participating in pre-planned events.
The trip was focused on the educational aspects involved, both musically and culturally. Linda Tieman, teacher and director, said due to costs, the choir usually makes the trip every 10 years or so.
“The kids formed friendships with other students from all over the world,” Tieman said. “Some even met and bonded with someone from France and someone from California. We had a pretty wide range of people on the ship to learn from.”
The ship had many events and celebrations for students only. Parents weren’t even allowed to enter to see some performances. The strict environment made Tieman feel at ease with her students exploring the different opportunities offered.
“One of the things on the ship was a club for teenagers,” Tieman explained. “The students would go and then spend the evening on the deck talking with other students. It was really great for them to have the opportunity. As a teacher, it was really rewarding to see these friendships and bonds be forged during these eye opening experiences that many wouldn’t get on their own.”
While on board of the Sensation, not only did the group perform with each other, but ended up performing with other groups and people they met on the trip. Aundrea Cline sang “Hallelujah” with a guitarist and Barrett Elrod performed with another singing group, when they needed another person.
“Once we got on the island, the students got to see how those people live and how they make a living with their craft. It was a real eye opening experience for them there.” Tieman said.
West High School is currently preparing for their annual musical. This year’s show is “Les Miserables” and will run May 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and May 11 at 2 p.m. The show will be performed at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. Tickets and information can be found at Shawnee.edu/offices/vrcfa or at the McKinley Box Office.
Joseph Pratt can be contacted at the Portsmouth Daily Times 740-353-3101, EXT 287, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.