Trio of musicians heading overseas for European tour

In July 2017, three music students from Hettinger will join others from around the state to embark on a seven-country, 16-day tour in Europe.

By COLE BENZ | Record Editor
cbenz@countrymedia.net

In July 2017, three music students from Hettinger will join others from around the state to embark on a seven-country, 16-day tour in Europe.

(LEFT) Reanne Cornelias. (CENTER) Samantha Reuther. (RIGHT) McKenna Poss. (Courtesy Photo)
(LEFT) Reanne Cornelias. (CENTER) Samantha Reuther. (RIGHT) McKenna Poss. (Courtesy Photo)

McKenna Poss, Samantha Reuther, and Reanne Cornelias have been nominated by their music teacher, Gina Joyce, to join the Northern Ambassadors of Music this upcoming summer. The Northern Ambassadors of Music is a part of the larger Voyagers International, Ltd. organization. The Voyagers International group was formed in Colorado over 40 years ago to bring the musical talents abroad. According to their website, 32 states participate in musical tours and they have sent over 160,000 abroad since their inception.

The North Dakota/Montana group has been operating since 2001 when they sent just over 100 students, this past tour included over 300.

Joyce said she has been nominating students since 2005, and has sent over 15 students since she has started sending her musicians. She said it is a high honor to be included on the tour.

“We nominate students that have good character, and are responsible but also are really good musicians,” Joyce said. “To get in is a really high honor, because that means your music teacher knows that you’re musically capable but also knows you’re a fine citizen.”

Directors can nominate musicians in any one of band, choir, or jazz band. The three musicians from Hettinger will be participating solely with the choir, according to Joyce.

There is no tryout, with the exception of section placements when it comes to band. A music director simply has to nominate the musicians, each director has unlimited nominations.

Along with the musicians, chaperones, and adult travelers like parents and grandparents join the students on the tour.

“So there’s a huge staff, most of us have done it [before],” Joyce said.

Joyce herself has been on the tour three times.

Directing the students is Dr. Warren Olfert. Olfert is out of North Dakota State University in Fargo, and the students travel to campus for their practices with him.

There is a late-spring rehearsal before heading to Fargo for the multi-day practice camp in early July, which according to Joyce, is an intense period of music practicing.

The students stay on campus at NDSU and for days their focus is music, music, and more music.

The tour begins July 9, so the students will be at the practice camp right up until they board a plane for Europe. The tour finishes on July 24.

The cost of attending this event is high, so the students will be fundraising throughout the year, so if you’d like to assist the students, be on the lookout for their events. If you miss the fundraising opportunities, but would still like to help, individuals can contact Gina Joyce directly.







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