After fundraising long and hard for a trip they felt would never get here, it is now just around the corner. The Kaneland High School Madrigals are going to Spain.
Thirty-one group members will head to Spain from June 7 through 15.
“This will be the fourth trip the Madrigals have taken overseas since 2009,” said Bryan Kunstman, choir director. “We’ve been blessed to have the ability to go thanks to the funds raised through the Madrigal dinner and other opportunities.”
The Madrigal holiday dinner is the big fundraiser of the year for the group. It helps pay for their costumes and supplies for their performances throughout the year, and a portion of the proceeds from the dinner also help offset the cost of the trip.
In addition, cheesecake sales and car washes throughout the year help raise enough funds to make sure everyone in the group can afford to go on the trip, Kunstman said.
“We are also blessed to have the Dunham Fund help us offset the cost of the trip,” Kunstman said. “Without them, all of our students could not attend the trip.”
Established by John C. Dunham in 1996 and funded in 2007 by Mr. Dunham’s trust, the Dunham Fund honors his life and philanthropy through grants to organizations in the area that have the vision and programs to help fulfill his dream of “making the world a more comfortable, safer place for mankind to live and prosper.”
During their trip to Spain this summer, the Madrigals will perform five different concerts in cathedrals surrounding Barcelona. They will stay at a family-owned hotel just 20 miles outside of Barcelona and drive 90 minutes into town each day.
There will be a one-hour rehearsal each afternoon, and members will come together for a group dinner each evening. The students will perform a full-evening concert in each of the five cathedrals. During down time, they’ll be exploring the town.
“There will be lots of opportunity to take in the culture and visit various historical sites,” Kunstman said. “We’ll be using the time to learn about the amazing spaces we’ll be singing in, and sharing that time with the locals.”
Kunstman works with a European performance tour company to help him plan the tour. The tour company not only helps him keep the cost down, but they also promote the group while they are in town.
The tour company puts up promotional posters in town with the group’s picture to help spread the word about the concerts at each of the cathedrals.
“The kids get a kick out of seeing their pictures plastered all over town on posters once we get off the tour buses,” Kunstman said.
The Kaneland High School Madrigal group has had the opportunity to travel all over Europe since 2009. The first year they went to England. In 2012, they traveled to New England and Scotland. In 2014, they went to Ireland.
“We have been blessed to have a very supportive administrative team, district and overly blessed with the Dunham Fund,” Kunstman said. “We thank everyone who has made it possible for this once in a lifetime experience for these kids.”