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Naperville resident spends week with orchestra in Puerto Rico

<p>Submitted</p>

Submitted

Christine Colletti of Naperville spent fall break in Puerto Rico, performing with the University of Dayton orchestra and encouraging a love for music -- and UD.

Colletti is one of nearly 30 students in the University's orchestra who made the trip to San Juan Oct. 9-13, 2013.

The ensemble performed at schools in San Juan and a historic cathedral, as well as in a University of Dayton alumni concert -- six performances in all. They also participated in a two-hour combined rehearsal with the orchestra from the preparatory program at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico.

"We want to make sure we're connecting with students who are interested in music," said conductor Patrick Reynolds.

The trip was intended to strengthen the bond between the University of Dayton and Puerto Rico and give a glimpse of the music programs available at the Ohio school. In addition to sharing their love of music, the orchestra members offered perspectives on college life as representatives of a variety of majors from business, education, engineering, arts and sciences.

The trip wasn't all work, however. Between rehearsals and performances, the students enjoyed what the island has to offer while connecting with alumni and prospective students.

"Rarely do we have a chance to take such an exciting trip with a musical group," said Kayla Mueller, a junior public relations major and violinist before the trip. "The time we usually spend together is in the orchestra room and everyone is usually exhausted. But I'm excited to have free time, to go places and get to know each other on a deeper level other than just each other's first names."

The musical program was primarily classical, with some music that has Spanish and Caribbean influences in order to appeal to wider audiences, Reynolds said. The music was chosen to show off the orchestra, and to be satisfying for the audience as well as the players.

Performances were scheduled at the Colegio San Ignacio, Escuela Libra de Musica - San Juan, Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico and the Catedral San Juan Bautista.

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