On Saturday, December 9, select members of the Heritage Brass Choir had the opportunity to give back and spend time with Make A Wish kids at United Airlines’ annual Fantasy Flight.
At the Fantasy Flight, young children with special needs or terminal illnesses are given the chance to fly to the “North Pole,” which is really an airplane hangar just a few miles from the Denver International Airport. Alongside Santa, the children met therapy dogs and Disney characters from Moana to Darth Vader, all while enjoying the music.
“At the beginning of the day when we had just started playing, Erin [Mortensen ’18], our conductor that day, allowed this little boy to come up and conduct with her. He looked so happy while doing it, and when the song was over he ran around and gave each of us a high five. I don’t know, there was just something about how happy that kid seemed to be,” says trombonist Nick Kelley ’19.
The ensemble also took the time to show students their instruments up close, as shown below. This is the second year brass musicians from Heritage have participated. They played a variety of Christmas songs as background music for the festivities.
“If there is one thing I took away from this experience, it’s just how kind people can actually be. Nobody is forcing all of these volunteers to come down and do this,but they come all the same out of the kindness of their hearts,” adds Kelley.
Alex Trautmann ’19 is the reason the Heritage Brass Choir was given the chance to volunteer at the event.
“My family has volunteered at the event for several years. My father works for the airline and two years ago I approached him with the idea of having a small group come and play. The airline loved having us the first year and asked for us back for this year,” says Trautmann.
The musicians loved having the opportunity to make such a special impact on children’s lives. They helped spread some Christmas joy to families and children who really needed it.
“One of the biggest highlights for me is getting to see the kids’ faces and how excited they get throughout the whole experience. It’s one of my favorite things to do every year,” concludes Trautmann.