Ten-and-a-half years ago in December of 2001, at the recommendation of Mr. Fioravanti, I started playing the French horn in the band program at Waterford High School. This weekend, I was offered the second horn position in the Sarajevo Philharmonic for the 2012-2013 season, through the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Academy of Arts and Sciences Cultural Exchange Program for Classical Musicians. The BHAAAS sponsors a select group of 5 American musicians to spend 10 months in Bosnia's capital of Sarajevo, performing with the city's Philharmonic orchestra!
The program covers housing, health insurance and a living stipend, while providing American musicians the opportunity to perform with a professional European orchestra. I was chosen from a pool of applicants by Diane Wittry, the conductor of the Allentown Symphony and artistic director of the program. Each applicant prepared a DVD of solo material and orchestral excerpts (the horn parts of famous orchestra pieces), along with submitting a resume and discussion of why they wanted to go to Bosnia.
So if Las Vegas culture shock wasn't enough, now I'll be spending almost a year living in Eastern Europe!
For more information on the program, click here.
The program was supposed to pay for the airfare to Bosnia, but due to rising prices and a budget made last September, they do not have the money to cover everyone's flight. As the second (as opposed to first) horn, I am one of the players that would be cut if they cannot get the donations to cover the cost.
I decided to take matters into my own hands, and have started a fundraising page for my plane ticket. Round trip tickets will cost $1,600 to $1,800 from JFK, instead of the $900 BHAAAS had planned for. The organization is soliciting its donors as well, so in the case we raise more than is needed, the excess funds will be used to for my flight home to Connecticut from Las Vegas, immediately prior to flying out of JFK.
I've raised $555 so far, so I'm 1,332 miles in!
If you or someone you know is willing to help, please follow this link to my Fundrazr page.
Or visit my website: