Musicians from the West Virginia Youth Symphony and the Jan Levoslav Bella Conservatory rehearse prior to their concert in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia, which is Charleston's sister city.
By Claire Wayne
West Virginia University
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In 10 days, the West Virginia Youth Symphony visited Poland, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia. It was a fast-paced trip, but the memories I have gained through that small window of time will last me a lifetime.
Now that I am back home, the most prominent idea in my mind about the trip is the belief that there are many things that are universal. I am not much different than some of my friends on the other side of the world.
I realized this the most during my home stay in Slovakia. A memory that stands out is when I was trying to interact with my home stay's little sister who didn't know a word of English. Through drawing pictures, I was able to successfully communicate with her.
This same theme also became apparent during our joint concert with a conservatory in Slovakia. By the end of it, everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves at the reception. I believe even though art can be interpreted differently everywhere, the emotion and dedication involved convey something purely human and universal.
Through understanding each other's art, the world can learn to grow and understand each other.
See more photos from the WVYS European tour at wvyouthsymphony.org/tour2012/index.html