Maybe they can all wear Ché shirts donated by Urban Outfitters
The director, staff, students and parents of the Greenwich High School Band are excited at the possibility of experiencing first-hand the wonders of Castrolandia.
The Greenwich High School band has visited and performed in exotic international locales, but next year they will be going where few Americans, let alone students, have gone before -- Cuba.
The trip, which will overlap with spring break next April, was announced this week by GHS Headmaster Christopher Winters in a letter to band parents and students.
The idea to travel to the Communist-ruled island nation, which has been under a U.S. economic embargo for 50 years, was the brainchild of Band Director John Yoon. Yoon said his interest had been piqued by a feature on the television news show "60 Minutes" about Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra traveling to Havana a couple of years ago. The GHS band has a relationship with Jazz at Lincoln Center, participating in their annual high school jazz band competition.
Certainly, the children will be allowed to see that which Cuba wants them to see, and they'll return filled with wonder, at the sight of yet another Caribbean Island where people live below poverty levels.
"What they don't realize is that Cuba is this amazing culture because of their isolation. In some ways they have kind of doubled down on their culture, especially when it comes to music and dance and art."
Yeah...and they have also developed exciting new dishes to add to the already rich Cuban cuisine, like the fabulous "Picadillo sin picadillo" (A.K.A. Picadillo de cascara de platano), bistec de toronja empanizado, and the ever so popular croquetas de huesos de pollo.
"Many Americans have kind of a wrong impression of what Cuba as a country is," Yoon said.
Mr. Yoon is certainly among one of those "many Americans" with the wrong impression of what Cuba as a country is.
What Cuba is, is a pathetic shadow of its former self. A collection of crumbling buildings and streets in dire need of repairs, or at the very least a coat of paint, with the exception of those places where tourists and the elite spend their vacations. Sort of like damned near every other island in the Caribbean, except that Cuba was not like every other island in the Caribbean.
"With its rich musical history, Cuba offers a fascinating destination for our students."
Maybe next year, they can travel to Bedford-Stuyvesant and take in some of the culture there.