With its historic castles, rugged landscapes and magnificent coastline, there are few places more majestic than Scotland and England, as Mansfield music student Katie Sabol recently found.
As a member of the Jazz Ensemble at the college, Katie performed in Edinburgh, York and London during her spring break through a student exchange program with Napier University. The daughter of Dr. Joseph and Cindy Sabol of Mahoning Township, she is the granddaughter of the late John and Agnes Maholick and Latzie and Mary Sabol.
Katie got her musical start playing in the Lehighton Area Middle School and Lehighton Boys and Girls Band. She continues playing with the Lehighton and Palmerton Bands in the summer.
Katie, a sophomore at Mansfield, is double majoring in music education and saxophone performance. In addition to being a member of the college's Jazz Band, she is also a member of the Wind Ensemble and the Spirt of Pride of Pa. as well as the college's marching band, where she is the saxophone section head.
Also touring with the Jazz Ensemble was the Mansfieldians Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
After departing from Newark Airport on March 9, the group traveled overnight to Edinburgh where they began their visit touring Edinburgh Castle, Palace of Holyrood, Royal Mile, Prince's Street and St. Giles. Their first concert performance before an enthusiastic audience at St. Andrew and St. George West Church.
Before their performance at Tynecastle High School, the band members met in a workshop session with the students. The day's activities were capped off with a public concert at the high school for the entire community.
Their next stop was York, England, where they enjoyed a walking tour of York Minister, a medieval walled city. They then presented a concert performance in the famous Spice Jazz Club in London.
After the musical performances, Katie had time to unwind by touring London's main attractions, including the historic London neighborhoods and Buckingham Palace, Whitehall, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.
During her free time, Katie also chose to visit world class museums, tour St. Paul's Cathedral, take a ride on the Thames, and take in a production of London's famous West End theaters.
Her last concert performance was at Highgate Senior School in London. Andre Canniere, an alumni of Mansfield University and a successful jazz musician in London, arranged for the concert at Highgate where he teaches.
There's another big performance trip in Katie's future.
Mansfield University Bands have been invited to perform in London during the Summer World Olympic Games in August 2012. Approximately 140 students have committed to making the trip, which will give them the opportunity to perform for an international audience.
Those wishing to help support the Mansfield students' Olympics trip can go online to mansfield.edu, click on SUPPORT MU, click GIVE ON LINE, choose, "Send the Bands to London."
Donations can also be mailed to, MU Bands, care of Dr. Adam F. Brennan, G-11 Butler Music Center, Mansfield, Pa. 16933. Checks can be made payable to MU FOUNDATION BAND TO LONDON.