BY KAYLIN MCKINLEY
The Sheridan press
SHERIDAN — Ten of Sheridan High School’s music students stamped their passports this June for a 15-day musical tour across Europe. Students participating were Carson Holwell, Morgan Parker, Sarah Campbell, Katie Campbell, Paige Wolski, Heather Belus, Sarah Alley, Delainy Szmyd, Garrett Szmyd and Hannah Wiley.
These students were nominated by Sheridan High School choir instructor Ashley Lecholat to take part in the Wyoming Ambassadors of Music. The program is a choir, band and orchestra of 155 high school students. This program, coupled with Voyageurs International of Colorado, honored the 10 based on their excellence in music and scholarship.
Holwell, Parker and Katie Campbell, all upcoming seniors at SHS, shed light on this rare opportunity.
“Getting to see the other side of the world and exploring the different cultures [was her favorite memory]. Also singing in the different churches; the sound was just ringing and it brought people to tears,” Parker said.
Parker described the music they performed as ranging from a more classical style with “Seal Lullaby” and “I Long for the Green Hills” to more famed American folk songs, such as “Home on the Range.”
With their eclectic repertoire in hand, the group made a majority of their appearances at churches. Campbell ranked the view of Italy’s St. Mark’s Church at the top for beautiful sites.
Apart from their own performing adventures, the young musicians were also able to kick back and enjoy others’ music and culture along the tour.
“I loved the fondue party we had on the last night in Switzerland. There were several musicians who played music for us, flag wavers, dancers, and three elder ladies, who never missed an Ambassadors concert, performed for us,” Campbell reminisced.
In preparation for the tour, individuals received practice CDs in the mail, which would serve as their sole instruction until a three-day practice period just before the trip.
“We practiced for eight hours all together on Friday, nine and a half hours on Saturday, and seven hours on Sunday,” Holwell explained, and the hard work didn’t stop there.
A few of the tour attendees were aided in their trip costs by the Matthew Perkins Scholarship; however, some students, Parker and Campbell among them, were able to alleviate additional costs with fundraising.
“I fundraised a lot,” Parker said, “I used a fundraiser through SHS, applied for scholarships and even held a Christmas concert asking for donations.”
Fundraising conducted through the school allowed trip goers to sell a number of sweets and goods around the community to go toward their travels.
The concert, held at Holy Name School, featured Parker along with her family and other friends on the trip. Parker expressed that those in attendance were very generous with their donations.
Parker, Holwell and Campbell all remarked on the trip as a great opportunity, full of culture and experience. Campbell stressed what a privilege the trip was to her and encourages others to check it out.
Leaving their mark in England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, and Germany, the students were on the road from June 15 and returned on June 30.