Tour Blog

Hey it's Jake, 
Just chillin waiting to rehearse for jazz a little bit. We just got done with a great day of travel and culture in Bonn, and I'm exited to see what else Germany has in store!

"Germans and Basses are really cool!"
-Kevin Fuller

"Translating is tiring. I have so many Americans following me around all the time."
-Christian Schmidt

"The food and the sights are amazing! Especially the recorder player in the central square of Bonn, couldn't stop jamming to his rad phatty tunes."
-Kyle Licocci

"Eine salat gurke schmeckt gut!!!!!"
-Michael Garrett


Dear Moms, Dads, and anyone who is reading this~

The past few days have been such a rush. We’ve hardly had any “down” time to rest or practice, we’ve been so busy seeing all the sights and eating the (delicious!) German food.  All of us feel extremely weird when we’re walking around town, because all of us have very little to no knowledge of German, and we just end up pointing to what we want and smiling apologetically.  After an three hour bus ride to Stuttgart, Sam finally beat Emily at Uno! Meeting our host families was a great experience- all of them are so hospitable, and genuinely want to make us feel at home.  Devon and Emily thought their exchange student was a boy because of her name-but it turned out to be a girl instead! Devon (and everyone) thought that the sparkling water was extremely entertaining, which the host family found funny because they consider it so basic. Jorie bonded with her new “little brother” named Can, and James’s family took him up to a mountain to see the whole city! We have our second concert today- in a real hall, and playing with the Stuttgart Youth Symphony! Tomorrow, we’ll have a whole day to spend with our families, and have a real German experience! All of us are having a great time here, and Munich is bound to be fabulous!  


Jorie, Emily, James, Sam, Devon, and Conrad


Dear People of Planet Earth                                                        

The invasion of Germany is going very well.  We are running low on supplies, but high on morale.  We visited the car Mercedes museum.  It was pretty raw we have to say.  Dr. D is awesome he is D-licious. The host families’ counter attack is very strong and we think we might stay.  If the parents want us back, they are advised to bake us cookies.  Come to the dark side we have cookies.  THE GERMANS EAT THEM WITH 3.5% MILK or carbonated apple juice. In other news, Darth Vader attended our concert and he huffed and puffed and fell off the wall. We couldn’t fix the house made of straw so we got sad. In the end Kevin traveled in Jack’s teleporter and it broke down across the Rhine River. Then he pulled out Jack’s magic carpet and went to Jack’s ballerific bachelor pad and chilled with his host family.  Samra made German friends and she fit right in.  Haley decided to arm wrestle Kevin and she got destroyed…From Kevin.  That is not true…from Haley.  Alison wore cool sunglasses. Oh, we played some music too.

Danke Schoen for your time wasted reading this letter,

Kevin, Jack, Haley, Alison, and Samra

Tamara’s Stay in Stuttgart

“My stay in Stuttgart was truly incredible.  Playing with the Stuttgart Youth Orchestra was an unforgettable experience. My host family was so nice and made me feel at home.  They showed me around the city and took me to some phenomenal sites.  My favorite part of Stuttgart was seeing the view from the 150-foot TV tower.  I also enjoyed bonding with my host family as they taught me a new card game.  I would come back to Stuttgart in a heartbeat!”

Lizzy’s Stay in Stuttgart

“Every day in Germany has been better than the next, so it was no surprise how much I enjoyed my stay in Stuttgart.  Playing with the Stuttgart Orchestra was an incredible experience.  This was followed by a day spent in the city with a few other MYA members and my host.  I had never shopped like that in my life.  (The absence of sales tax made it irresistible).  My stay ended with a traditional German meal at a small restaurant near my host family’s house.  It was a perfect end to a fabulous three days. J

Spencer’s Stuttgart Experience

“Stuttgart was the best city so far! I found myself thinking about how I could live there while eating ice cream on a ledge overlooking the city. My family was probably the nicest group of people that I have ever met! I will miss them very much. =( Yesterday I went to Physics class with David (the boy I stayed with). We then had lunch at his house and played ping-pong. After lunch, we climbed the radio tower where we had an amazing view of the city and surrounding areas. We then took the train to the city and saw the sights there. After a dinner back at the house,  David and I went swimming in a mineral water pool. It was soooo relaxing. Overall the trip has been awesome! I am sort of regretting going to school once I get home.”

Stephanie’s Stay in Stuttgart

“Germany has been beyond amazing- and Stuttgart has been the best yet. Staying with host families gave a very unique experience to this trip, and gave us all a look into typical everyday life in Germany.  Yesterday I was able to go to school with Teresia (my host), before going to Essling (a nearby city) to see the sights and shop. While we were there, we climbed to a fortress up in the hills that gave a beautiful view of Essling and the surrounding area. After a delicious dinner with the entire family, we went for ice cream from a small corner shop and looked out over Stuttgart at night. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience, and will miss my host family.”

Liz’s Spätzle Experience

“This trip has been really amazing so far. I have really enjoyed spending time with my MYA friends and seeing all the sights. However, one of my favorite parts of this trip has been tasting all the different food.  While in Cologne, we visited the Lindt Chocolate Factory and got to see how the chocolate was made. Josh and I split an AMAZING piece of chocolate cake. While in the town of Bonn, I ordered my first bratwurst. Mike recommended I get it with fries topped with mayo- it was excellent. There’s also Bratwurst with a curry sauce on top called Currywurst, also pretty good. When doing home-stays in Stuttgart, I got to try a lot of traditional food from south Germany. In the mornings our family fed us pretzel sandwiches or pretzels with butter. The pretzels in south Germany are much different from ours, they have a fat bottom and the knotted part is very skinny and small. Last night my host family took us out to get spätzle with German potato salad and Maultasche ( translates to mouth bags, they’re like large meat-filled ravioli). The food has been so good, I think I’ve gained a lot of weight! I will miss it all once I’m back in the states!"

Michael’s tour of Germany

Everything has just been so wonderful lately.  World-class chocolates in Cologne and great Schnitzel was only to be complimented by the beauty and excitement of Bonn. Beethoven’s house was the musical culture center of Germany housing the world’s greatest composer. My stay in Stuttgart changed the way that I looked at the German youth and the German people. Stereotypes were only defined as fallacies. Felix Bruestle (party boy) and his welcoming family really brought to me what German culture stood for and what was in store for a fun night; night in a Penthouse in Germany displayed and windowed the energy, fun, enthusiasm and soul of the German youth. The only difference is, 16 year-olds are still minors in U.S.A.

Culinary examples of German culture are the most prominent; a Schnitzel’s taste is that of KFC to the next level; a brown, buttery, crispy texture on the outside is a formula for indulgence for the steamy, tender inside. We will indeed miss this trip and hope to one day, relive the culture and excitement Germany. Alles fuer Deautschland!

Clayton’s Germany Experience

When we landed in Dusseldorf I already knew this trip was going to be great. The architecture was amazing, and I couldn’t wait to see more. When we arrived in Colonge, my previous thoughts didn’t change. We went to the chocolate factory and got the chance to taste world class chocolate. We then went to Bonn and saw an old castle that changed into a university, and it was burned down two times. We also got to see Beethoven’s house. I thought the trip couldn’t get any better, but then we took a bus ride to Stuttgart to meet our host families. David and Sonja were some of the nicest people I had ever met, and their hospitality was outstanding. Mrs. and Mr. Dorner surpassed all expectations with generosity and great kindness towards Jason, my roommate, and I.  On Wednesday, the day with our host families, I got to experience the German schools. They are very similar to American schools, except they have much longer passing periods, and much longer classes. Every day they have 3-5 one and a half hour periods. School starts at 7:45 and ends at 1:00 or 5:15. It was an experience I will never forget, especially English class. During the class I got to figure out the German view of America, and it was much different than I see us today.

This trip was one that I will never forget, and will cherish the memories with me forever. Playing the concert with the Stuttgart youth symphony was one of the most fun things I have ever done, and will certainly not forget. My only complaint is not being able to stay here longer. As we go to Munich now, I can’t see how this trip can get any better, but I have been surprised in Germany before.

Sam Stewart’s Experiences in Germany

Upon landing in Germany, I was rather curious as to what the country would be like. I was not disappointed. The Old Town in Düsseldorf was extremely enjoyable; a group of us ate at an inn there; while none of the staff spoke English all that well and none of us spoke German, we were nonetheless able to order a delicious meal. However, I was even more pleasantly surprised upon going to Cologne. There, we saw a massive Gothic cathedral; the architecture of the town, as well as the history behind said buildings, was extremely interesting. Being able to explore the city in a small group of musicians was also very enjoyable. Finally, I was most impressed (thus far) with Stuttgart. My host family was extremely interesting and hospitable (and lived in a 250-year-old house, which was amazing), and gave me a new insight into the city. We toured the palace at Ludwigsburg, with a few other groups; this experience was probably my favorite part of the tour. Afterwards, we visited the TV tower in Stuttgart; the view from the tower was breathtaking, and allowed me to get a panorama of the entire city.

From a musical perspective, the trip to Germany was also excellent. The audiences in both Cologne and Stuttgart were extremely enthusiastic, and being able to play in both a concert hall and a church over the span of a few days was also very cool.  Hopefully, our experience in Munich will likewise be a positive one.

Ultimately, I loved my trip to Germany; I can’t imagine how this trip could have gone any better.

Jason Leman

Well we are at Munich just now so I don’t have much time to write, not that I could write all about this trip in one paragraph anyway. This has been a really great tour to say the least.  The food has been great and Clayton and I couldn’t have asked for a better host family. I’ve really enjoyed the time walking around towns and seeing Germany’s many sights. Going to German school for a day was also an excellent experience.  The concerts were great as well! Have to go now, but suffice it to say this has been a great experience so far.