Arts & Entertainment

Westfield H.S. Band and Chorus Visit Europe Over Spring Break

The Westfield High School Choirs at the Sibelius Monument in Helsinki, Finland Credits: Sechrist Travel
WHS Band members play in Chamber Ensembles in Orvieto, Italy, over spring break. Credits: WHS Bands Friends, Family and Alumni Facebook page
Concert by Westfield High School Choirs at Temppeliauko Rock Church in Helsinki, Finland Finland Credits: Sechrist Travel
WHS choir directors John Brzozowski and Maureen Francis at a Viking-themed dinner in Finland Credits: Sechrist Travel
WHS Choirs rehearse for a concert in Riga, Latvia Credits: Maureen Francis

WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield High School Band and Chorus programs spent the district’s spring break touring and performing on separate European trips.

The band began their trip in Florence, Italy, on Tuesday, April 3, with a guided walking tour and welcome dinner, before a day trip to tour Venice on Wednesday. The band toured the Accademia Museum, home to Michaelangelo’s David statue, on Thursday morning. Later, they left for Lucca, where they performed an evening concert with the Filharmonia Giacomo Puccini at the San Francesco Church under the direction of Trevor Sindorf, Band Director at WHS.

Chris Vitale, director of bands at WHS, fell ill and was unable to go on the trip.

Sign Up for E-News

“Everything seemed to go smoothly,” Ethan Jaffee, a junior at WHS, said. “Even though Mr. Vitale was sick and could not come, Mr. Sindorf and the rest of the staff did a great job making sure everything went as planned.”

The band departed from Florence on Friday morning, with a stop to tour Assisi, before arriving in the city of Orvieto. Students were able to enjoy walking tours of Orvieto on Saturday, with some students playing in chamber ensembles throughout the city. The full band was in concert at Palazzo del Capitano on Saturday evening.

The trip ended with a visit to Rome on Sunday, where students toured the city and spent the evening together at a performance of “Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci” at Teatro Opera di Roma. The band spent Monday morning in a conductor’s workshop with the Italian Army Band and enjoyed the rest of the day in Rome before returning to Westfield on Tuesday.

“Having the opportunity to travel to a foreign country with dozens of friends was an amazing experience,” WHS junior Ethan Useloff said. “It was incredible doing what we all enjoy in a European setting, thousands of miles away from Westfield. In addition, we had the pleasure of visiting numerous historical places. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience that we will all treasure forever.”

The Westfield Choral Department also arrived in Europe on Tuesday, April 3, beginning their trip in Helsinki, Finland, with choir directors John Brzozowski and Maureen Francis. They spent Wednesday morning touring the city before an evening concert at the Temppeliauko Rock Church, a venue built into solid rock. Thursday gave the students more time in the city of Helskinki, along with an outing to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Suomenlinna Sea Fortress.

The choir traveled via ferry on Friday to Tallinn, Estonia, where they attended a rehearsal of the Tallinn Philharmonic Chamber Choir and enjoyed a guided city tour. Students had time to explore the city on Saturday before an evening performance.

They left Tallinn on Sunday morning and spent the remainder of their time in Riga, Latvia. Students enjoyed a guided tour of Riga on Monday, ending with a joint performance with the Balsis Choir of Latvia, and a farewell dinner.

Because of a country-wide airline strike in Germany that affected their return flight, the choir and their chaperones had to extend their stay in Latvia by two days, returning home on Thursday, April 12. With the extension of their trip, they were able to visit the Riga Zoo and spend an afternoon performing for students at the International School of Riga.

“I thought this was a life-changing experience,” WHS junior Zack Lemberg said. “The cities we went to had such rich culture and beautiful sights to see. And all of the venues where we sang were amazing and had great acoustics. I’m so thankful that we were given the opportunity to go on this trip.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Fanwood Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Mobile Meals of Westfield

April 22, 2018

FANWOOD, NJ  — At the Fanwood Borough Council meeting on Monday, April 16, Mayor Colleen Mahr read a resolution acknowledging Mobile Meals' 50th anniversary and presented it to volunteers Nancy Otchy and Josephine Walsh.

Mobile Meals, based in Westfield, delivers meals to thousands of area residents every day. The organization passed its one millionth meal delivery several ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, April 22, 11:00 AM

Roosevelt Intermediate School , Westfield

Greta's Run

Giving Back Sports


Sun, April 22, 12:00 PM

James Ward Mansion, Westfield

Westfield Sandwich Fest

Food & Drink


Sun, April 22, 12:00 PM


Westfield 2018 Earth Day Celebration


Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Students Share Talents at Music Recital

April 22, 2018

he Music Department at The Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison staged its annual Spring Music Recital, and it was another spectacular show.

Held in the new Berry Performing Arts Center for the first time, this year's recital featured many of the school's most talented vocal and instrumental performers.

Students who participated in the recital included: Aum Mehta of Edison ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center


Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...


Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Mets Sign Patriots Pitcher Before He Can Unpack His Gear

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Somerset Patriots have announced that right-hand pitcher Scott Copeland’s contract has been purchased by the New York Mets.

So, instead of stretching out and getting in shape at TD Bank Ballpark, he's been sent to extended spring training at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The 6’3” righty broke into the big leagues in ...