TWIN LAKE—A three-week tour of Europe by the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra has been canceled due to the flu.
The cancellation does not effect Blue Lakes regular fine arts camp schedule, which begins July 1.
Several students were diagnosed with type-A influenza while touring Ohio over the weekend. Though the so-called swine flu is a type-A flu, tests confirmed that the form of flu contracted by the orchestra members was not the H1N1 virus.
While the orchestra had rehearsed for seven days at Blue Lake's facilities in Twin Lake, that was two weeks ago. The students came down with the flu while the group was touring in Ohio. They were about to board a plane Monday evening at Detroit Metropolitan Airport when Air France indicated the orchestra would be quarantined upon arrival in Paris.
The tour was years in the making, said Bill McFarland, spokesman for Blue Lake. But it is not connected with summer fine arts camps which get underway next week. McFarland said about 5,000 young people will participate in this year's camps.
The tour's cancellation is "a cultural tragedy," said Heidi Stansell, director of the camp.
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp is about 40 miles northwest of Grand Rapids near Twin Lake in Muskegon County.