We were fortunate to have some of the most outstanding soloists ever on the Sound of America tour this year. Our featured choir soloist was Elizabeth Carbonell, who is only 15 years old. Elizabeth, from Hanover, PA, captured audiences' emotions with "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables.
The SOA Honor Band featured two soloists. Dan Tomassone, from Pennsylvania, performed "The Blue Bells of Scotland" on trombone at a dizzying speed. Dan toured with SOA in 1986 and has since played with many famous musicians at Harrahs in Atlantic City, NJ and has performed at many jazz festivals in Europe touring with the famous Illinois Jacquet Big Band.
You may not have ever heard the name, Sean Jones, but '98 SOA participants and audiences alike believe you may some day hear of this young man. Sean is a junior this year Youngstown State University in Ohio. Last spring, Sean was listed in Downbeat Jazz Magazine as one of the top four up-and-coming young jazz musicians in the country. Sean thrilled all audiences with his virtuosity on trumpet during the band's performance of "A Tribute to Harry James". His skillful technique and beautiful sound enticed many concertgoers to shake his hand or ask for autographs after the performances.
Luxembourg added to itinerary:
Although not originally scheduled for last year's tour, SOA did visit Luxembourg. The sold-out performance in the evening produced an enthusiastic crowd in this state-of-the-art auditorium. Tour members also paid tribute at the American cemetery in Luxembourg which holds the graves of thousands of U.S. soldiers killed during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.
Full houses at concerts:
Although not unusual, some of our indoor concerts such as the Bon Voyage Concerts at Dickinson College, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Luxembourg city, Luxembourg, and Strasbourg, France had few or no remaining unoccupied seats during the performances. Audiences at these locations ranged from 650 to over 2000 people, depending on the number of seats in the auditorium. Encores and rhythmic applause thrilled the SOA musicians. In addition, two SOA alumni and a parent of an alumnus attended our concert in Rothenburg, Germany.
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