The Notables return from eye-opening Denmark travel

The Notables perform Moondance in a flashmob-inspired perfromance on the streets of Copenhagen, March 29, 2023 – Ms. Barbara LaPenta

After more than four years, the Notables returned to Copenhagen, Denmark to tour and share their voices with the Danish people. 

During spring break, the Notables, Baldwin B-Flats, and a few students who hosted Danish students in October flew to Denmark and spent a week performing and experiencing what Copenhagen had to offer. They performed at a variety of destinations—castles and churches from the 12th century, to name a few—but also lived in a culture vastly different from the United States.

Sixth Former Isaiah Schuchman described Denmark as a city characterized by picturesque architecture. 

“I really expected it to be European, which I got, but I feel like the buildings were a lot smaller than I expected. I was expecting it to be more like London, but the buildings were small and quaint, which I really enjoyed.” 

“Denmark is a beautiful place,” said Notables Director Mr. Matt Mastronardi. “It was very much like I had pictured it in my head, but it was even nicer when I got there. Everything was so clean, and the people did not seem to be in a rush or stressed.” 

The Notables and company traveled through and around the city, exploring the shops, attractions, and restaurants. All were surprised and impressed by the various methods of travel and the efficiency of public transport. 

“I wasn’t expecting as much development around the canals, but they were a very integrated part of Copenhagen,” Shuchman said. “[The public transport system] is pretty hard to beat and something like that in our area would be incredible.”

Sixth Former and Secretary of the Notables, Julian Caesar, was surprised to see the prevalence of biking. “I was surprised to see the bike lane take up the majority of the sidewalk. While we were there, it was almost as if bikes were treated with a higher priority than pedestrians.” 

They used the incredible public transportation to travel to even more incredible destinations to perform and learn about Denmark’s rich cultural heritage and history. One of these destinations was the 12th-century Lyngby Kirke.

Notables perform with the Baldwin B-flats at Lyngby Kirke in Denmark on April 3, 2023 – Ms. Barb LaPenta

“The church is set up on this hill. It looks like it came from a fairytale,” Mr. Mastronardi said. “It was a magical night. The church’s acoustics really enhanced our singing, and it was the first time we got to perform all the songs we prepared to sing with the Baldwin B-Flats!” 

Another fascinating stop was Kronborg Castle. “The weather was rainy and cold, which really fit the vibe of Hamlet,” Shuchman said. 

Caesar echoed this sentiment. “From the on-the-spot performances in the neighboring cafe and in the castle itself to getting a chance to get a tour of the castle, my favorite place to visit was Kronborg.”

“It truly is incomparable to here in Philadelphia,” Sixth Former and Co-President of the Notables Harvey Pennington said. “It was really eye-opening to see how different the culture was compared to some cities here.”

Their performances, the Notables agreed, went especially well. 

“We had a great flow and were in the zone. It was nice to just focus on singing together as a group for that week, and not have to worry about all the other million things we do here at home,” Mr. Mastronardi said. “Our hard work in learning all those songs and preparing for these performances really paid off.” 

“I did not expect as much focus on mental health and alcohol moderation in their school.”

Julian Caesar

“Due to the long history of the Notables and the B-Flats going to Denmark and performing for the Danish people, it felt as if we were almost celebrities,” Caesar said. “Each time we performed the quality of our songs and the applause increased respectively.” 

They also had the opportunity to see what school in Copenhagen was like.

“I did not expect as much focus on mental health and alcohol moderation in their school,” Caesar said. “I came across both a seminar and class that focused on those topics.” 

But above all else, the Notables were thankful to spend time together. “I feel like being in Denmark was not only a great opportunity for the Notables to get closer with one another on the trip, but it was also a great opportunity for us to bond with the Baldwin B-Flats,” Caesar said.

Mastronardi agreed. “We had some of the best performances of the year there. It was incredible to be somewhere new and feel like rock stars for the week. I am hoping we continue with that newfound strength as a group throughout the rest of this school year.”