I am writing my final blog post with deep sadness. As many of you know, President Trump passed a travel ban on non-American travel to the United States, due to the Spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. This encouraged most people, American citizens included, to return to the states as soon as possible. A single travel ban, would not have changed my decision, it was the decision for classes to be online.
Under Austrian University precautions, I would not be allowed to take Horn lessons face-to-face, nor would I be able to work with my accompanist weekly. All concerts and museums are closed in Vienna until Easter. At this point, I felt like my best option was to return home. With nothing to do in Vienna except walk around (maybe) and watch Netflix at home, I began to grow more homesick.
It has been my goal to study in Vienna since I decided to be a Music Major in High School. I wanted to come here, practice my German, learn from a member of the world’s greatest orchestra and study music in the City of Music. I am heartbroken that I cannot finish my lessons, but I have noticed that my skills and musicianship have drastically improved with the 5 lessons that I have had. This will greatly help upon my return to the States as I prepare for my Senior recital.
As I say “Auf Wiedersehen” to the city, I remember the wonderful parts of my short trip: the peaceful walks through city park, the super sweaty standing-room tickets, the delicious coffee and pastries from Aida and the many good lessons I had with my Horn teacher. I remember his quirky jokes and friendliness. He would always say things such as "du musst lauter sein, du musst wie eine Hornspielerin spielen" (you must be louder and play like a Horn player) and "Perfekt" when I played something well.
I remember traveling outside of Vienna: climbing to the top of the Salzburg fortress when I was sick, listening to street music in Paris, eating Czech food with my friend in Prague and eating cannolis in Venice before it closed. I remember drinking hot chocolate with my host mom and that she likes to put cinnamon in hers. I remember the many good runs, in which I somehow always found something interesting. I remember having a few good lessons at my internship and playing a spontaneous duet of the Avengers with my mentor teacher, me on horn and him on trumpet, for the class. I remember the goodbye party that was hosted by many of my music friends to send off those of us that are leaving. Lastly, I remember the last two days before my flight. Two friends and I decided to make pancakes for breakfast and walk around Belvedere Palace, famous for being the residence of the Hapsburg family during their rule in the 18th and 19th Century. We also decided to get ice cream, now that ice cream stores were open, eat cheese samples from a cheese store in the first district and watch the sunset from the top of the Albertina Museum, which was closed for the Corona Epidemic.
Although I am sad to leave, I know I will be back, to either travel or to study upon my graduation from my university in the states. Instead of “Auf Wiedersehen”, I want to say “Bis Später”. See you later Vienna. I’ll be back.
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<p>I am Bridget Gervais and I am a Junior studying Music Education at Drake University. When I am not studying or practicing my French Horn, I enjoy reading, going on runs, cooking/trying new recipes, exploring and, of course, playing Christmas music on the Piano.</p>