The Kentucky Ambassadors of Music is an organization that gathers students from across the state every two years to perform band, choir, and string orchestra concerts throughout Europe. This year, Henderson County High School band students who will be traveling with the Ambassadors include seniors Kaycee Garner (clarinet), Nathaniel Hobbs (percussion), Madison Hutto (flute), Cameron Ivie (percussion), and Nate Phelps (percussion), and recent graduate Amy Jones (French horn).
Also traveling with the group is the students’ band director, Adam Thomas, who will play clarinet with the band, and several of the students’ family members: Brenda and Makenzie Blades, Amy Hutto, Pamela Garner, and Haley Owens.
The musicians will spend several days in Louisville rehearsing music for a full concert that will be presented in each country on the tour. The ensembles will present a send-off concert at the University of Louisville’s Comstock Concert Hall on June 29 before departing June 30.
The Kentucky Ambassadors of Music is organized by the band and choir directors from the University of Louisville, Dr. Frederick Speck and Dr. Kent Hatteberg. This will mark the eighth tour for the professors since the inaugural tour in 2000.
“Having done the tour a number of times, my favorite element of the tour is observing our student musicians having a European experience for the first time. Every student has the opportunity to experience incredible growth,” said Speck.
The Kentucky Ambassadors of Music will visit and perform concerts in seven countries, including England, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy and Germany.
“The European audiences enjoy hearing American music performed by ensembles from the United States,” said Speck. “We do some traditional marches and folk song settings, but also some music of international flavor. Every band concert closes with ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ and ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever,’ which is the audience favorite throughout Europe.”
Besides being a musical tour, the students will get an opportunity to have sightseeing and cultural experiences. In London, the Ambassadors will visit Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben. The Henderson group will enjoy a performance of “The Phantom of the Opera” in London’s famous West End.
The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, and the Notre Dame Cathedral are among the stops in Paris, France. The students will also spend time in the Swiss Alps and the Matterhorn, St. Mark’s Square in Venice, and experience history while visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp before returning home July 15.
“I am most excited to visit Switzerland,” said Phelps. “I’ve been told the scenery is the most beautiful, and I look forward to seeing it for myself.”
“I am pleased to be accompanying six fine musicians from HCHS who I know will be fantastic representatives of our school and country,” said Thomas. “And, I know they’ll be a lot of fun to spend two weeks travelling with.”
Information provided by HCS Publication Team
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