FORT WORTH, Texas -- For many members of the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, it will be the first trip out of the country. For all of them, it will be their first city-to-city tour of Mozart's favorite spots.
This week, close to 60 members embark on the trip of their young lives when they fly overseas to Europe.
The ensemble has three performances planned in cities that live and breath music, including Salzburg, Vienna and Prague.
"Mozart stated in Salzburg, traveled to Vienna and then Prague. We're basically following his footsteps of his life," says Alex Rodzewich, a teenage percussionist.
Alex is just one of the standout stars from Cowtown hoping to show Europe that the home of Van Cliburn has inspired an entirely new generation of young musicians.
"We practice a lot," says Raquel Rodriguez, a flutist. "One day, [it's] knowing what to fix, and then coming back the next day and already fixed and having it go, go, go."
The larger FWYO has close to 500 musicians, from under five years old to graduating seniors in high school.
Most of those going on the European trip are teenagers about to graduate, although there are a few younger.
Christian Espina is an incoming high school freshman. He plays the double bass.
"It's a deep sound," he says. "And what we're playing, it's very, very deep, and the next section very, very quiet."
Espina is talking about Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5 in E minor, the main piece the group will play on their trip.
Although the focus is no doubt music, the adventure will also serve as an opportunity to experience an area of the world that many of the kids have only read about in books or online.
"I've never been to Europe, and never been outside of the US. This is very exciting for me," says Matthew Gearheart, a violinist.
Most of the kids are paying around $3,000 for the trip, although some raised the money while others have it covered by help from donations.
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