Symphonic Band Travels to Europe

Global Perspectives, News, School of Music

The Lee University Symphonic Band recently participated in a missions/cross-cultural trip to Germany, France, and Austria. While there, 33 Lee students served at several churches, ministering to diverse congregations, and visited many historical sites and cities in the area.  

“This extraordinary trip to Europe provided an exceptional educational opportunity for members of the band by giving them an outlet to utilize their developed talents while fulfilling Lee’s Global Perspectives Program goal of integrating faith experiences to cultural learning,” said Dr. Mark Bailey, director of Symphonic Band and trip director. “It allowed the students to not only experience the culture of Europe, but also provided them an opportunity to experience firsthand the issues of the needs of the various groups and understand how they, as students, can make a difference in the lives of others.”

The Symphonic Band had the opportunity to minister in music in Churches of God across Europe, including the Heidleberg-Leimen Church of God in Germany, the GeGo Agape Romanian Church of God in Vienna, and the Graz Church of God in Austria. The Lee group also had the opportunity to partner with students from the European Theological Seminary (ETS) in an open-air bi-lingual church service at the Crossroads Church of God in Kniebis, Germany, along with a service at the Colmar, France Church of God, where the team was able to perform with Lee jazz professor Alan Wyatt.

Additionally, the Band ministered in a bi-lingual worship service with members from other churches at the Villingen-Schwenningen Regional Conference for all Churches of God in Southern Germany, where the students were able to join in a celebration for the important religious holiday in Europe, Ascension Sunday.

“Nothing was as sweet to me about this trip as sharing moments with others through a smile, music, meals, and games despite not being able to speak the same language,” said Carrie Snyder, band student conductor and recent music graduate. “Working so closely with the ministries there in this way, I feel like I’ve left part of my heart in Europe.”

When not ministering, the students were able to visit many historical and cultural sites across Europe, such as Salzburg Mirabell Palace and Gardens, the Alps, Schoenbrunn Palace, Stephens Cathedral, and the Vienna State Opera.

Students also spent time at the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany, where they toured the camp, read stories, and were encouraged to ask questions about the history of the concentration camp.

“I got to witness God transcending all language barriers to unite His church on this trip,” said Miya Palaganas, a junior education major. “I will never forget how beautiful that was. God seemed to be working beyond our abilities to change lives.”

The goal of Lee University’s cross-cultural core requirement is to foster in students a respect for the diversity of perspectives represented in the world community, to help students articulate an understanding of their own Christian values, and to show how these relate to another cultural perspective.  

For more information on Global Perspectives, visit

For more information about Lee’s Symphonic Band, email Bailey at [email protected], or call (423) 614-8269.

Symphonic Band, Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria
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