The summer after my senior year at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, I had the privilege of touring Europe as a flutist in the Concordia Youth Wind Ensemble, a concert band sponsored by the Boston Conservatory of Music. We practiced for a week in Boston before going on a four-week tour of Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.

One night in Germany, the group had left our instruments and baggage at the concert hall where we would be performing that evening. We all walked about a mile to another site, where we were served dinner.

Somehow, I was at the tail end of the crowd walking to the dining hall and was one of the last to finish my meal. I set out on my own for the concert hall after dinner, sure that I would know my way back. However, I soon found myself in a very unfamiliar part of town.

I went from one shop to another, only to find that they had all closed at 5 p.m. Very discouraged and scared, I sat on a park bench in tears, wondering how I would ever find my way to the group.

I didn’t speak much German, but I was able to ask a couple of people “Wo ist der conzert?” They may have understood my question, but they knew nothing about any concert.

I finally decided to walk down a busy street, hoping I would see a police station. As I walked along, I was delighted to hear a couple behind me speaking English. I turned to talk with them and discovered that they were planning on attending our concert. What a relief!

I joined them as we walked to the concert hall. When I got there, everyone in my group asked, “Where have you been? We’re about ready to go on stage!” I don’t think I have ever been as scared or as relieved as I was on that evening in Germany!

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