January marked the 10th fine arts London tour, a 10-day trip for Bryan College students, led every other year by Music Department Head Dr. Mel Wilhoit and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies Mr. Bernie Belisle.
On New Year’s Day 13 students and seven adults (three of whom were Bryan faculty) arrived in London to begin the tour of a lifetime. Of the students, 10 attended this trip as a capstone to their fall fine arts coursework. In the days following, the group experienced the most notable sights around England, including the London Eye, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Stonehenge, the famous Roman bathhouses at Bath, Shakespeare’s Globe, Dover Castle, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle, and St. George’s Chapel.
Westminster Abbey and the Globe Theatre were among the students’ favorite sites this year, according to Mr. Belisle, who was particularly enthused about this year’s addition to the trip – the Operation Dynamo tour at Dover Castle, which led the group to different locations in the underground war tunnels and explained the evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II. Mr. Belisle said that students love this trip because “they study about art and architecture and theatre, but when they’re actually there, they see history… they walk in buildings that are older than our country. Being there is just awe-inspiring.”
Sophomore Brittany Gurley, one of the students who went on the tour, reminisced, “For me this trip was a dream come true. I was struck with incredible, overwhelming emotion so many times simply because of where I was. It’s one thing to see pictures of these places, but then to actually see them in person and stand in them and take it all in was just so much more than I could have ever imagined.”