Hi! My name is Solomiya Paduchak and I am a born-and-raised New Englander from Ipswich, Massachusetts. I am a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and I am studying Communications, as well as getting a certificate in Film Studies.
Music has always been a part of my life; my mother is a professional opera singer and my father plays the violin. I was in the fourth grade when I chose to play an instrument. Personally, I favored the flute. However, I couldn't figure how to hold it properly so I decided to follow in my father's footsteps and become a violinist. I also tried taking after my mother by joining the chorus. Unfortunately, I did not and still don't share the same singing ability as her, but I stuck with it. I participated in the chorus and orchestra from elementary school and all throughout high school. Many of my peers quit over time, and at one point I debated it myself, but something told me I'd regret it if I did. Turns out my conscious was right because being part of a music program was not only a wonderful experience but the opportunities it offered me I could only dream of.
I had wanted to go to England for years, and because of Encore Tours, I was able to!
Encore Tours worked with my music program in order to set up a trip for my school's band, chorus, and orchestra. During the spring vacation of my senior year, I was able to go to the United Kingdom. It was my first trip overseas; I was very nervous. Every little thing that could possibly go wrong on an overseas, 8-hour flight popped into my head. Although, as soon as I stepped onto that plane I became completely relaxed. I was surrounded by my friends and people I grew up with, and if I needed help for any reason, there was a chaperone always in sight. I had wanted to go to England for years, and because of Encore Tours, I was able to! We visited places I hoped we would and I saw more than I ever expected. We went to Oxford, Bristol, Bath, London, and more specific places such as Stonehenge, Warwick Castle, the Roman Baths, and Camden Market (my favorite).
Me at Stonehenge
We performed at two churches: one in Bathford and one in London. Originally, I thought no one would come. Who would want to see some random American high schoolers play music? Well, apparently everyone.
The churches were filled to the brim with people. No row was left empty and individuals of all ages and backgrounds came to watch us perform. To say I was surprised would be an understatement. All the audience members stayed for the entire performance and they even interacted with us afterward. I felt like a celebrity. Experiences like these are what remind me of how important music is. It is a universal language that everyone can share and enjoy.
Our first performance venue in Bathford
My trip to England is one I'll never forget. The memories I made on my music tour are ones I will cherish for the rest of my life and I have Encore Tours to thank for that. This is a company that cares about the quality of their trips and ensures reliability as well as enjoyment. I am thrilled to be working with Encore for the summer and I am looking forward to learning about the process that makes these unforgettable trips happen. I've always been passionate about music and I think it's very important for anyone, and students especially, to go outside their comfort zone (literally) and explore the world. There are so many places to see and combining travel and music just makes the experience that much more personal and memorable.
Buckingham Palace, London