Travel Brokers

The Homewood-Flossmoor High School choir sings. 
Members of the choir audition to join the H-F Master 
Singers group, which will tour several cities in 
Europe during spring break.

(Photo provided by H-F High School)

The 55 members of the H-F Master Singers are holding an auction on Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. to raise money for their singing tour in Budapest, Vienna and Prague.

The auction will take place in the Homewood-Flossmoor High School Cafeteria at 999 Kedzie Ave. in Flossmoor. The tour is sponsored by the Homewood-Flossmoor Fine and Performing Arts Council, an independent organization, and the H-F Choral Parents Association, a volunteer organization. 

With a theme of “Passport to Prague and Beyond,” the room will be transformed into a European adventure with steamer trunks, passports and old cameras. Kim O’Lone, publicity chair, promises “it will be fabulous.”

The evening will provide guests with a silent auction, and a live auction while they enjoy delicious appetizers, including Hungarian goulashes and stuffed cabbages, forest mushrooms, bread dumplings, and classic European pastries and coffees. Tickets are $10 each and can be obtained at hfmastersingers.org. 

Items for the auctions are being donated by individuals and local businesses. Stephanie Wright, auction chair, said, continued community support has enabled H-F to send its music students on these trips: “That’s why we’re hoping for a big turnout for the auction.”

The choir, orchestra and band rotate international tours.  The first tour was in 1970. The students have performed in over 80 cities and 28 countries. Choir Director Michael Rugen said, “H-F is the only high school in Illinois that, through its community support and separate performing arts council, has funded such a record of international performances.”  This will be his sixth tour as conductor/director with the H-F singers.

Rugen will have the singers perform music that was written specifically for the cathedrals the choir will be visiting, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna. “Wonderful choral literature like ‘Cantate Domino’ by Hassler and ‘Sicut Cervus’ by Palestrina will be performed at the cathedral,” he said.

Pulling together this nine-day/eight night trip “takes a lot of work, but the music teachers are very committed,” O’Lone said.

Viking Choir members auditioned to become members of the H-F Master Singers. The selected students and their parents volunteer their time to fundraise for the trip. The tours allow students to gain relationships with their peers in other countries and, as O’Lone said, “look at the world a little bit differently.”

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