IRONWOOD - The Ironwood School Clarinet Choir is heading to DeKalb, Ill., Thursday to participate in the annual Clarinet Cornucopia at Northern Illinois University.
For band director Steve Boyd, the trip marks a 27-year tradition with the students.
"As soon as school starts, they are asking when practice starts," Boyd said. "They really enjoy this."
Thirteen students will take the trip, and will perform with more than 100 college and professional-level clarinet players. The theme of this year's event is jazz clarinets, and to prepare the group has practiced some Benny Goodwin pieces.
The group plays six different kinds of clarinets, and the students will be able to take private lessons while on the campus, as well as play in master classes, recitals and concerts.
While in Illinois, the students will also take a detour into Chicago, where they will tour the city, spend some time shopping, attend a showing of "Phantom of the Opera," and try new foods.
"I have a rule, we do not eat at restaurants that can be found within 50 miles of Ironwood," Boyd said.
The goal for future events is to have students from across the Gogebic Range participate in the choir. Currently, there is one student from Wakefield-Marenisco.
The students leave on Thursday after school and return the following Tuesday.
"We are grateful to the Ironwood Area Schools for its support and a variety of generous individuals who helped make this trip possible," Boyd said. "We're always looking to keep the cost down for the kids so they are able to experience this."