Skip to main content

Five BHS Musicians Selected for Liberty Tour of Europe

Sep 28, 2017 06:00AM ● By Pamela Johnson

Shown (L-R) in Strasbourg, France, are Ashleigh Vars, Zack Rizzi, Brianna Collins, Ian McCue, Kali Fairholm, and music teacher Marie Forte,

The Bellingham Music program is proud to congratulate the BHS students who were members of American Music Abroad Liberty Tour of Europe this past summer. Five students from Bellingham auditioned and were accepted as members of the Liberty European Tour along with BHS music teacher, Marie Forte. The students selected to participate include Ashleigh Vars, flute; Kali Fairholm, clarinet; Brianna Collins, trombone; Ian McCue, euphonium and Zack Rizzi, percussion.

American Music Abroad just celebrated their 41st year as an organization devoted to organizing European music tours that maximize the cultural experiences for students with high-level music ensembles.
The Liberty Tour Concert Band, Choir and Orchestra was made up of 140 students from across New England, New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Ohio. This group of music students participated in 3 days of intense rehearsals at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania before flying to Europe for their music performances and sight-seeing adventures.
The tour included five different countries—Italy, France, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Some of the tour highlights included visiting Pisa, Florence, Verona and Venice, Italy; Salzburg, Westendorf and Hintertux Glacier, Austria; Strasbourg, France; Munich and Heidelberg, Germany; and Lake Lucerne, Switzerland.
Over the course of 3 weeks, the students performed in nine concerts, including outdoor concerts in resort towns and historic churches such as Salzburg Cathedral in Austria and St. Maurice Church in Strasbourg, France. Music teacher Marie Forte noted that this was her third trip with American Music Abroad Liberty Tour and she was very proud to travel with this group of students.
“In addition to their wonderful musicianship, these students were great travelers and representatives of the Bellingham community as well as the United States,” she said. “Every concert began with the anthem of the host country and the Star Spangled.Banner and ended with Stars and Stripes Forever. Our audiences gave us standing ovations and were incredibly warm in all the countries we visited. The entire trip was an amazing experience for students and staff alike.”
To learn more about American Music Abroad, visit, or contact Forte at [email protected].





Bellingham Stuff


Seasonal Widget
Loading Family Features Content Widget
Loading Family Features Article