Toledo International Youth Orchestra seeks donations for Cuba trip

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TOLEDO (13abc Action News) - The Toledo International Youth Orchestra performs all over the area. This summer, they're hoping to go abroad.

"We're taking our group to Cuba," Gary Gorton, Assistant Conductor for TIYO said. "We'll be one of the first youth orchestra's in Cuba in about 60 years."

In theory all they have to do is purchase plane tickets, but unfortunately it isn't that simple. On typical trips overseas, the orchestra would rent instruments, but that's not the case in Cuba.

"We have to box up our basses and box up our drums and all of these massive instruments that are really expensive to put onto a plane," Gorton told 13abc.

"My instrument requires its separate plane ticket for itself so that's a cost we're trying to eliminate," Madison Woerner, a youth orchestra bassist and Whitmer sophomore said.

That's why they're reaching out to the community to help offset those costs.

Tuesday, they held a public rehearsal to show Toledo what they've got.

"Our goal is to bridge cultures through music," Trevonn Smith, a TIYO bassist and Whitmer senior said.

What's even more exciting for Smith and some of the other members, it's an opportunity to go where few Americans have gone before.

"If I was to go to Cuba, it would be my first time out of the state and out of the country," Smith told 13abc.

The orchestra has 6 weeks to reach its goal.