72 members of the Augustana band going to Egypt on Sunday for a 20-day concert tour. It's one of the largest collegiate band groups ever to travel to Egypt.
One of the last chances for these students to fine tune those notes before leaving Sunday for what many say will be the trip of a lifetime.
With five concerts, music is a big part of the 20-day trip to Egypt, but there is a hope for much more, says Dr. Bruce Ammann, Director of Bands. "Not only do I hope we will present ourselves musically and make an impact with the gifts we've been given musically, but we'd also like to be able to develop a sense of world understanding."
Austin Mielke is a freshman trombone player and a Modern Foreign Language major. This will be his first trip abroad.
"It's going to be great to see the pyramids, and everything else that Egypt is really known for. To get to see one of the wonders of the world I suppose."
Most of us are a little overwhelmed just by the thought of just packing for a 20-day trip, now imagine having to bring your instrument and a music stand.
For some the logistics are less of an issue, but there's a debate over whether the tuba or the timpani drums have it worse.
Andrew Paulson is a percussionist. "We're looking to hopefully find a lot of the equipment there in Egypt, so we don't have to carry them along. But I'm sure we'll have to take some with us."
Sharing a simple gift of music halfway across the world, it turns out, logistically isn't really all that simple.
Security is also on their minds, after the New Year's Day church bombing in Alexandria. It is one of the cities they will be traveling to, but they will have security escorts while they're there, and feel confident they will be well taken care of.
The band has a Farewell Concert tomorrow night at the Brandon Valley Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $5 and are available online or by calling 274-5320.