McCLURE - Anna Laura Kelsey has been selected to perform and tour Europe with a national performing organization known as The Sound Of America Honor Band And Chorus.
Kelsey, daughter of Clark and Carlene Kelsey of McClure, graduated last year from Midd-West High School in Middleburg and was active in the school chorus, district chorus, and school musicals, and is presently a freshman at Lancaster Bible College, Lancaster, as a Worship Arts major.
Kelsey will join other selected students representing nearly every state in July, when The Sound Of America Honor Band And Chorus begins its 2012 European Concert Tour. Being selected is a true honor, Kelsey said, as all applicants, about 100 total, are carefully screened and chosen only after a rigid musical and character evaluation.
Anna Laura Kelsey
According to Kelsey, it was almost a missed opportunity. Her mother received a program brochure in the mail and almost threw it away, but instead decided to keep it in case her daughter was interested. Since the program counts as an internship toward her schooling, and it involves doing something she loves, Kelsey was very eager to apply. She learned the music for the audition, made her audition tape and prayed to God, "Lord, let this be." She very quickly heard back that she had been accepted.
The SOA Honor Band and Chorus is celebrating its 36th year and is recognized as one of the finest and most successful European Concert Tour programs in existence. The Sound of America Inc. is a music program designed to enrich aspiring musicians through international performance and education. The concert band and chorus is comprised of talented high school and college instrumentalists and vocalists from across the United States of America. Each year, a new group of students is chosen for the annual SOA European Concert Tour, which takes place each summer. It has received international acclaim for its success in achieving outstanding cultural relationships with European countries.
All student performers will meet on the campus of Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, on June 29. After four days of rehearsals and orientation, the group will depart via jet from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York for Frankfurt, Germany. The group is scheduled to present nine performances in some of Europe's finest concert halls and major cathedrals during its 23-day concert tour. The students will get to travel to six countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France and Luxembourg. Having traveled recently with LBC Chorale and toured Ireland, Kelsey is thrilled to have the opportunity to further tour and experience Europe.
"I didn't even think this was possible, and I'm so excited for it to happen," she said.
Students who have qualified for the SOA membership are responsible for all costs involved with the trip. Frequently, however, local businesses and civic clubs who have an interest in helping deserving students will offer some financial sponsorship to the student representing their community.
Tax deductible donations can be made on behalf of supporting Anna Laura Kelsey and should be made payable to "The Sound Of America" and mailed to her home address: 2828 Stull Road, McClure, PA 1784. For more information on the program, visit www.soundofamerica.org/