Farewell Photo - July 2013


History of the Exchange


As a boy, Jack Shackleton was intrigued by the stories of town historian, Dewitt Gurnell, about Rhinebeck's connection to the Palatine area of Germany.Years later, as Rhinebeck High School's band Director, Shackleton used this inspiration to initiate the first musical exchange with this "ancestral" sister city. 71 Rhinebeck participants traveled to Rheinbach to share their music, their culture and their friendship. German students and teachers arrived the following year and the exchange was born. Since 1977, over 1,000 students and 800 families have participated in the Exchange. Repeated in 5 year cycles, students have the opportunity to participate at some time during their high school years.

silvertrumpet 2

The silver trumpet is the symbol of the Rhinebeck Rheinbach Exchange. At the final concert it is symbolically passed on to the new hosts. Currently the Germans are in possession of the silver trumpet. At our last concert in Germany, we will be given the trumpet.




Participation Requirements


  • *All participants from Rhinebeck and surrounding communities (including adult chaperones) must participate in the Exchange Chorus and / or Band.
  • *Students should be High School Age and have completed 8th Grade by June of the travel year.
  • *Additional participation in Ensembles of String, Band or Chorus is encouraged.
  • *Mandatory weekly rehearsals for six months prior to the July departure date.
  • *Student's families must commit to hosting a German student for two weeks in summer 2024.
  • *Student and family must support the Exchange and actively assist in fundraising efforts through their membership.


Previous Itineraries

2017 Itinerary (US to Germany)


2018 Itinerary (Germany to US)

Chorus & Band Performances