Rotary Club of Burgess Hill & District
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Talk by Bryony Prior and Isabel Salzman
On Tuesday, 26 June, the Rotary Club of Burgess Hill and District was delighted to hear an illustrated talk by Bryony Prior, (17), from Steyning, , and Isabel Salzmann,(18), from Berlin. With the help of their local Rotary Clubs, they had been chosen to attend the Rotary Music Camp in San Diego, California. Bryony began with the story of her successful audition in 2011. She then described her first transatlantic flight, which was to the U. S. A. There was a minor delay, over an entry visa, in Chicago, after a connecting flight. On arrival at San Diego Bryony met local Rotarian, Ron, who, with his wife, Joyce, soon became good friends. Immediately after arrival, there was a beach party where Bryony met the people from many different countries, with whom she would be spending the next three weeks.
She experienced kindness and hospitality from her host family, Jenny, Hank, and their daughter, Dakota, who made her feel part of their family. She shared a room at their home with Isabel Salzman, from Berlin, who became her best friend. She made friends with all the international students and many of the American students. She still maintains contact through Facebook and Skype. Doug Hall, from the San Diego Symphony Orchestra loaned her one of his horns at no charge for the duration of her stay.
For two weeks, the students rehearsed intensively from 8.30am until 3.15pm. Bryony also played Serenade by Strauss in a wind ensemble. At the end of the two weeks the students gave concerts in some striking locations, one of which was by the sea, at La Jolla.
The third week consisted of fewer rehearsals, but several performances and day trips to attractions in Southern California, notably Universal Studios, near Los Angeles, Sea World and Hollywood Boulevard. There were also many beach and pool parties which were great fun and strengthened friendships.
At the end of the three week course, it was sad saying ‘Goodbye’ to all her new found friends, even though she hoped to see them again. Her good friend, Isabel, was on the same flight to Heathrow. Isabel promised to come to England for Bryony’s 18th birthday.
Bryony thanked Rotary for making possible her wonderful, unforgettable experience.