Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Kiley is back from her Australia trip now, having had a great time with the other kids from the Albuquerque Youth Symphony. They performed a total of five concerts while "down under," including a charity fundraiser in the Sydney Opera House (see the group picture, above, taken across the harbor from the opera house -- Kiley is eighth from the right on the bottom row). Their itinerary was ultimately modified drastically due to predictably overblown concerns about the spread of "H1N1" influenza, which barred them from staying with Aussie families as was originally planned, but that meant they had time for additional tourist-y types of activities. One of the things they had planned to do, anyway, was to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where the kids got to pose for pictures with a koala (see other photo, above). Overall, it was an expensive trip, but I'm glad Kiley got to have such memorable experiences.
As I expected, Kiley did make AYS again for next school year, although the group's three-year "tour rotation" will have them doing only a "regional" tour next spring, probably staying somewhere within the Four Corner states. (They do a "national" tour in the second year and an "international" tour in the third year.) Coincidentally, whereas the entire group (so far as we know) had "only" four LDS church members this last year, next year's cello section alone will have four LDS kids in it.