At Lake Highland Preparatory School, named the best college prep school in Orlando, travel is a big priority.

Director of Visual and Performing Arts Chris Greening has been working with Super Holiday for over 17 years—previously as band director—to take students on educational and performance-based trips.

Chorus Director Delicia Egerton has been traveling for years as well, both nationally and internationally to a variety of different performance and competition based experience, from Cincinnati to Atlanta and even Hong Kong. Most recently, Egerton and her chorus went to New York, traveling for the first time with Super Holiday.

Now, the Lakeland band, chorus and orchestra are all planning a trip together for the first time ever, to Denmark, Sweden and Norway. We talked with Egerton about her time teaching and traveling so far, and what’s next.

Tell us about your educational journey.

I have been teaching choral music and general music since 1999. I began teaching in Nashville, Tennessee, and then moved to Florida about 12 years ago. And I’ve been teaching middle school choir, elementary choir and high school choir ever since. I’m now at Lake Highland, and this is my eighth year here at this school teaching chorus to grades four through 12. I’m the director of the choral program as well as the department chair.



What would you say is important about student travel?

I would say the primary goal is to provide stellar performing opportunities, as well as opportunities for hearing outstanding performances, while building lasting memories. It’s through travel with my performing groups that our sense of community is elevated. Especially with our Carnegie Hall trip that we took not too long ago, there is a heightened sense of understanding and appreciation for what we do, both as performers and as audience members. And I feel like that is gained primarily through travel, and those shared experiences, participating in something new, especially at an elevated level, we strengthen our bonds and our relationship within the ensemble. And when that happens, by default, we become better musicians and better performers.

And what do you personally enjoy about the trips?

I learn things about my students that I don’t gain in your traditional classroom setting. I feel like I get to see them and they also get to see me in a different light. And then, as we are exploring different places and experiencing new things together, we learn things about each other. As educator, I learn things from different places that I go. Those shared experiences help to inform my decision making when I come in the classroom. I’ve become a better teacher because of these shared experiences.

Tell us about the planned group trip to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

This trip kind of came about as a way to do a combined Music Department, and we’ve been looking for places to take our performers and then places that our parents can experience kind of outside of the norm. And so this one kind of fits that bill. We don’t have the connections that we had with the Hong Kong trip, but we’re excited about experiencing this new, completely new to all of us on the team, area of travel for us. We’re hoping it will be the beginning of many, and a lot of our parents seem to be pretty excited about this as well.

Do you have any recent travel highlights?

Well, I have to highlight the New York the Carnegie Hall trip that we did in March 2022. It was the first time that I took a trip with students where even though there may have been some small hiccups in our trip, from beginning to end, it was just pure joy. I was able to see from our tour guide, my students, my parents, they fell in love with our tour director on the trip. It was just a well-balanced trip. It was an opportunity for us to see new things, tour different areas of New York, but also a time to grow musically in the festival and the competition that we were there for.

It was the most balanced tour that I had done as far as activities for relaxation and connection in the group. The parents all talk about that trip. Even people who had lived in New York came back saying, “I learned things about New York that I never knew.” And they just really enjoyed the tour. They loved the performance venues. And really, the opportunity to grow together as a performing community, I was watching it develop while we were on that trip. I was seeing friendships deepen. I was watching students become better performers and being super invested in the choral art form on trips. And it kind of was the linchpin for seeing my way forward.

Can I assume that some of that success was thanks to Super Holiday?

Absolutely, so crucial in being able to help me make the trip happen the way it did, which was critical, because I have been on trips before where it was wonderful places but not so much a balanced experience. They were able to put together such a well-balanced tour for me.

On the flipside, what’s been a challenge you’ve had to overcome recently?

I would say overall, the biggest challenge in education has been the seeming attack on the arts. There has been a lack of funding, a lack of support, and I’ve been privileged here at my school to be able to persevere through that. While there is still a heightened sense of focus on technology and science and things of that nature, at least here we’ve been able to persevere and push forward and still strengthen and grow within the arts, despite what’s happening nationally. So, I would say that’s been the biggest triumph for me as an educator.

Excellent. Finally, do you have any advice for new educators entering the space?

I would say buckle up, but also, you’re needed. I would say you’re really needed. We’re in a new place since the crisis. Everyone seems to kind of be on edge, and if there was ever a time that the arts was needed, I would say now, we need caring and compassionate educators to kind of fill those spaces that academia can’t touch.

We need brilliant performers to be able to touch the hearts and minds of people like we’ve never had before. We need our young people to be empathetic and caring and thoughtful and considerate, and I feel like what we do touches that area more than any other area. So, I say to these future educators: We need you. Be ready, because, you know, there’s going to be a lot that you’re going to be hit with, but you’re needed.