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MFISD approves overseas travel for choir

Marble Falls ISD approves overseas travel for choir

Marble Falls High School choir students sing during Mass at the Salzburg Dome in Austria in March 2019. Travel issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have stalled overseas choir trips. The group hopes to hit the road again in March 2022. Photo courtesy of Marble Falls High School choir

Travel-related issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic grounded the Marble Falls High School choir last year, but the group is now making plans to visit Europe in March 2022. Overseas travel for the coming school year was approved by the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees during its regular meeting April 19.

Choir members and adult chaperones have regularly traveled to foreign countries with choir director Bryce Gage for their annual spring trip. A planned trip to Greece this spring had to be canceled. According to the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Greece, the country has movement restrictions in place and requires tourists to provide negative COVID-19 test results upon entering.

Current Greece restrictions would increase the total cost of the trip, Gage said. Although restrictions could change, Gage and other organizers decided to shift the trip to Germany on March 11-19, 2022.

“I am a firm believer that (students) can get more education in nine days with me in Europe than they can get in their classes on a regular basis,” said Gage, emphasizing the positive impact of foreign travel.

Gage said the goal is to keep trip costs below $3,000 per student. Choir students will begin fundraising by selling T-shirts and taking donations during MayFest on March 8 in Marble Falls. They will also accept donations during their performance 1-2:30 p.m. that day in Johnson Park during the festival.

In other matters, the board approved spending: 

  • $95,640 from a 2018 bond sale on furniture for the Marble Falls High School black box theater;
  • $94,651 to refresh the district’s Wi-Fi infrastructure;
  • $162,850 to improve the fire alarm system at Highland Lakes Elementary School in Granite Shoals;
  • and $147,298 to spruce up Spicewood Elementary School, including its library, with tile and paint.