By Shawn Chitnis

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Music students at Arvada West High School prepared for a trip to Ireland as a March blizzard closed down their campus Wednesday, a day before their flights for a week long visit.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s Colorado so you can never look too far in advance,” said Craig Melhorn, the director of instrumental music at the school.

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The marching band got one more practice in them before the trip, enjoying warmer weather outside before the storm. Every two years the school takes a trip and this March they chose Ireland for their destination, the first time for the program to visit that country.

It takes almost two years of planning; sending 120 students, parents, and staff on the journey.

“A lot of great musical experiences and historical experiences throughout this trip for a week.”

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(credit: CBS)

The group includes band and orchestra students along with members of the color guard. They will perform in three towns including Dublin and get to explore the country while in Ireland.

(credit: CBS)

Melhorn came to campus on Wednesday when the school was closed because of the weather. He was checking on the instruments already there — some students will still need to bring their equipment before they leave for the trip.

“Experiencing the world and performing in a different part of the world and see their culture,” he said about the value of the trip for students.

(credit: CBS)

The group will split up, boarding two planes before (hopefully) leaving from Denver on Thursday and traveling to Dublin. Both flights were on track to depart in the afternoon even though the blizzard created so many cancellations on Wednesday.

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“A lot of it is just out of our hands,” Melhorn said. “So just have to take what’s given to you and take what you get and we’ll get there when we get there.”

Shawn Chitnis