Alabama to Indiana Page of Testimonials
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“This has been a life changing experience! I’ve had so much fun with all the SOA members and awesome Staff! The only word to describe my experience is “AMAZING”! I really hope to go on tour again!”
A. Stephens, White Plains High School
“This tour is going to be my most important event in my life so far. It changed me to be a better person. The great thing about this tour is that you can travel all over Europe with people from all over the U.S.
T. Hattori, Bob Jones High School
The WWII cemetery made me extremely overwhelmed! It touched me just thinking that this many soldiers died for us. I think this SOA tour will be one of the highlights of my life!”
O. Johnston, Liberty Middle School
It was one of the best trips I have been on! The staff was great; the other students were amazing; the music was fun; and the concerts were GREAT! I loved music before be now more so than ever!
W. Etheridge, Jacksonville High School
You are an amazing staff and this program is wonderful I hope it continues for years to come! Thank you so much! None of you could ever know how much this trip has helped me!
L. Baugh, Bob Jones High School
It was a well run and planned tour. The staff knows what it's doing! We have now touched people all around the world!
K. Rodgers, Bob Jones High School
It was a wonderful learning experience along with great music! I enjoyed building relationships and making friends with the tour members. I would recommend it to anyone!
C. Smith, Alabama Christian Academy
Never did I believe I would be traveling to Europe with other awesome musicians to play in some of the most prestigious concert halls . . . I will remember this forever!
H. Boland, St. James High School
This trip was awesome! - being able to play with a group of musicians at this level! Thank you SOA & Staff who make this incredible experience available!
C. Bullock, Davidson High School
The past 25 days have been the greatest experience of my entire life! The musicians were very outstanding. The effort in getting here was definitely worth it!
C. Hamilton, Mary G. Montgomery High School
SOA did a wonderful job of organizing this tour and upholding their duties! I was very proud and honored to travel with you. You are all wonderful, caring people and you will all be missed!
C. Chandler, Baldwin Co. High School
I cannot thank you enough for: a beautifully planned and perfectly executed tour; patiently and lovingly directing the next generation of musicians in a wholesome experience with music and with one another; selecting and presenting a well rounded program of music for both chorus and band; enriching our lives and cultural experiences with music and the Humanities Course. Thank you SOA, and God bless you!! (Hats off to the Barrs for their untiring devotion to good kids and good music!)
Mrs. S. Spratling, chaperone, Birmingham
SOA gave me a chance to explore my musical career and meet new and interesting people.
T. Sparks, East Limestone High School
SOA was the experience of my lifetime! The fund-raising, blood, sweat and tears was worth it! I fully intend to come back. The closeness of the group made me never want to leave. God Bless the SOA!
P. Mask, Oxford High School
This trip has been the best trip of my life so far! I will never forget this experience and hope to come back. I would definitely recommend this to anyone!
L. Barnes, Cullman High School
I feel that SOA really has changed me and made me a better individual. SOA showed me that success is possible with friends, music and yourself. I hope that anyone else, who this trip is offered to, will take this great opportunity and become an SOA member. Thank you SO much, SOA!
K. Carter, Pelham High School
The tour was fabulous all the way around, from Dickinson all the way through 6 countries and home again! I highly recommend it to anyone who can get in. Thanks SOA for that wonderful experience!
B. Spratling, Mountain Brook High School
Thanks to SOA for a wonderful tour of Europe! I'm going home with a treasure of memories and deep desire to bring the rest of my family back. You did a great job of organizing the tour.
C. Chandler, Chaperone, Bay Minette
The chance to perform with such a prestigious group is definitely a once in a lifetime chance. I'm just glad I was able to be a part of that. I've met some of the closest friends I'll ever have on this tour!
R. Cothran, Sparkman High School
This has been the best experience of my life! All the work at Carlisle really paid off. The performances created such a wonderful feeling it's almost undescribable! I would recommend this trip to anyone, because it really helps to create a character inside you. I love all the directors and all the others I've met from across the country!
B. Bradford, Robertsdale High School
ALASKA [To the Top]
“I am so grateful that the staff really took care of us all like a HUGE family! It was truly AWESOME to be able to sing in the most incredible places, which a lot of college groups never have the chance to do in their lifetime!”
M. DeLucia, Kodiak High School
The tour was awesome! I've been to Europe twice before and this was still everything I dreamed it would be. The music was incredible and brought tears to my eyes several times. The crowds were so appreciative and receptive of our students. The directors and staff were awesome and should serve as models in musicianship and character for our youth.
The most appreciated aspect of the trip was that I truly value the directors and staff encouraging ethical behavior, responsibility and patriotism. We can teach these values in our home, but unless they are reinforced and adopted by peers and other young adults, we have a difficult time. Thank you for providing a wholesome and admirable experience for our youth and for other groups that preceded them or will follow!
This is an excellent opportunity to participate in a tour of Europe with other talented students with like interests. You get exposed to new cultures and beautiful music while all the planning work is done for you. If you get the chance and can afford it, take advantage of the opportunity
S. Kristeller, Chaperone, Fairbanks
This tour was better than I expected! I loved every place we were able to go to and how we were made comfortable by saying in great hotels as well. This is more than likely one of the best tours in the U.S! You make friendships that are sure to last a lifetime as you are able to find common ground through your love of music. The places you get to see are absolutely marvelous and it's made even better with the musical opportunities, new friends, and the educational experience gained!
A. Ramos, Kodiak High School
Being in a group this superb (musically and personality-wise) was more than I dreamed of! It was one of the best experiences of my life!
J. Gilhuly, University of Alaska, Anchorage
I can't wait to get home and tell everyone about what I've seen and done!
C. Smith, Kodiak High School
This trip was the most exhilarating experience I've ever had! I had a blast! I had an absolutely wonderful time and would love to do it again sometime!
J. Lear, Colony High School
At first I'd thought coming here I thought the focus of this tour would be on music performance. However, through the tour I found music was not the only thing we had to do. Our focus was to tenaciously ensure the world that America was still there and holding strong. With many worries about safety, Europe however felt and was safer in many ways. The experience was very much worth while and the trip of a lifetime!
K. Streeter, West Valley High School
It was awesome! - the way the staff made everyone feel right at home and part of a real family! You could tell that they really cared about us all. All of that helped us to feel comfortable enough so we could be ourselves and make friends that will definitely last a lifetime!
S. Campanella, Kittaning High School
The whole experience was amazing! The audiences were great and I was so proud of what we accomplished together. The best part of it was that we all got to know each other so well. It means a lot more to perform with a group that is so close.
A. Velsko, Homer High School
I have had the greatest experience of my life! I am proud to have shared it with the staff of SOA , the group as a whole and the friends I have made. SOA has had a profound impact on my life. I am a better person , son, friend, brother and musician because of SOA!
J. Williams, Petersburg High School
It was the best experience for blossoming musicians! I learned so much, not only in music, but in history, art & architecture. Performing the concerts were the actual highlights of each place we visited. I'm so glad I was able to be a member of the SOA 1996 European Concert Tour. It was truly a memorable event!
R. Bowling, Bering Strait High School
My experience with SOA was wonderful! SOA has trained me to become a better musician and overall greater person.
D. Rockwood, Ketchikan High School
The Sound of America is the best musical experience I've had! The tour has changed my life! I've met friends that will last forever and have memories that I will never forget! I've been changed by this tour, not only musically, but emotionally. That is a gift I can keep forever! Thanks SOA for all you have done for me! Keep up the excellent tours, so you can make a difference in other peoples' lives!
H. Roses, Dimond High School
I absolutely loved this tour! I never thought I could have so much fun performing! I am so thankful for this wonderful opportunity. I have memories and friends that will last me a lifetime! My life has changed for the better! Thank you SOA staff!
C. Boyer, North Pole High School
All the personal contacts by phone were always very helpful and personalized. The agenda was well planned with added extras for student (& everyone's) enjoyment - Well organized by buses and bus leaders creating "family" units - Beautiful places visited, skilled choir and band directors, great selection of vocal and band music, being able to do and see all we did for only $3000 including most meals and lodging.
C. Bowling, Chaperone, Unalakeet
It was awesome! The staff made everyone feel right at home and a part of a real family. You could tell that they really cared about us all!
S. Campanella, Kenai Central High School
SOA has changed my outlook on so many things forever! I feel like I've learned so much about myself, and other people over the past 25 days. The musicality and calibre of the group has created memories and feelings that I will carry with me forever. I loved every minute of this trip!
A. Hames, Sitka High School
. . . I gained a real respect for our country and felt really proud to say I was an American. I think what SOA has going here is incredibly wonderful. The people I met are all so great and I feel like I've known everyone here forever. I just want to take everyone back home with me. I had the best time in the world! Thank you so much!
J. Gillespie, Chugiak High School
The tour is everything PLUS more of what I hoped my son would have achieved! I can't say enough of your program! It gave my son the opportunity to perform great music in great places; see unique areas of Europe; stay in fine hotels; eat varieties of fine cuisine; and most importantly, meet kids from all over the United States. The personal friendships gained have been astounding! Congratulations on this well-organized program! It shows through in all the activities and fine accommodations provided. Thank you!
Mrs. S. Harper, mother of participant, Anchorage
ARKANSAS [To the Top]
It's better than you will expect! Everything is just so well thought out and the staff is really cool. Seeing the look on people's faces during concerts made me feel proud to be an American and a part of such an amazing tour!
J. Ellen, Norphlet High School
I have been really impressed with how organized this trip has been and I loved how we were treated not as kids but young adults.
L. Byrd, Arkadelphia High School
The Sound of America is without a doubt the best decision I've ever made! The entire experience was worth the wait, preparation, and nervous anticipation. Thank you Sound of America for making me feel like part of a huge family! You should know that SOA has most definitely changed my life!"
J. Neal, Bentonville High School
I think this is a great experience for growing musicians. This trip has made me a better performer!
C. Daniel, Conway East High School
SOA gave me the chance to expand my knowledge and interest in other countries! I never thought it possible for me to leave my little town in Arkansas at this point in my life. I can't believe that I was given the opportunity to represent my country, state, town, school and faith in such a beautiful place. I had a great time and felt as if the staff truly cared. The SOA organization is wonderful and I would highly recommend it to everyone!
M. Hendricks, Mena High School
This was an awesome experience, I wouldn't trade it for anything!
S. Myler, Elkins High School
The whole tour experience is unbelievable! You literally have to pinch yourself twice to make sure you're not dreaming! The friends you make with SOA will last you a lifetime!
J. Carpenter, Hamburg High School
The SOA tour has given me the opportunity to perform at a broad range of European concert halls / sites where the audiences would not only be dazzled with the perofmrances, but they would beg for more! By performing for the European audiences and witnessing how they don't take music for granted, my love and passion for playing my instrument has become stronger!
C. Moore, Conway High School
The experience was great! It was well worth the price I paid. I am coming back!
J. Dickens, Van Buren High School
It amazed me that everyone I met on this trip is the best of the best in America. I loved how we all came together as a family and blew Europe's socks off! I will never be the same and have gained 199 friends for life. I really enjoyed also getting to know the great staff and chaperones. Dr. Ausmann is, by far, the most wonderful and amazing Choral Director I have ever met. Thank you all!
C. Decker, Southside High School
ARIZONA [To the Top]
This was the best three weeks of my life! I could not have asked for anything more!
J. Man, Mountain Pointe High School
Touring Europe with SOA was even more of a life changing experience than I thought it was going to be! I never thought I would ever get a chance to tour Europe doing what I love most - SING! I want to thank all of the SOA staff for putting together such a program for students to experience something, a lot of them will never get to experience again and they would not have experienced it had it not been for SOA!
E. Wilcken, Mountain View (Mesa) High School
Being from a small town that doesn't have very many opportunities for young people, this was the most rewarding experience that has happened to me! I couldn't believe how great the people are!
J. Wayman, Kofa High School
I had a wonderful time! It is definitely an experience I will remember for the rest of my life!!
E. Lindsay, Safford High School
CALIFORNIA [To the Top]
“It is a very worthwhile experience for any musician that aspires to travel and perform simultaneously. It is worth the money and time as well! IIt was the best organized trip or function I have ever participated in! The organization of this tour was phenomenal! The experience as a whole is something that all musicians that are passionate about music and traveling should experience!”
J. Eiseman, Junipero High School
“This tour is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience – performing in the places we did was truly breathtaking! I felt comfortable and at home in SOA because of how warm and caring the staff is!”
R. Tolbert, Rincon Valley Christian School
“It’s one of the best, most memorable trips you will ever go on, and it is a trip you’ll never forget! This tour was everything I had ever hoped for, and even more! Playing in Europe was the coolest thing I have done as a musician! I don’t think I will ever forget how special this trip was. I am leaving SOA fulfilled!”
N. Amadeo, Vacaville Christian High School
“This whole experience has been amazing! I’ve met so many cool people on this trip that I will probably remember for the rest of my life!
I took part in the retiring of the colors for the cemetery in Luxembourg. It was such an honor to be a part of that group honoring the sacrifices of our veterans! I’m going back to what seems like a different life of another person!”
Luke Jarrett, Union Mine High School
“I had a great time on tour! It broadened my musical knowledge like I never knew possible, and I made friendships I won’t soon forget!”
E. Jardini, Templeton High School
“It is a very wonderful experience, filled with lots of singing and many attractions. It is a one-in-a-lifetime experience! SOA has made me a more responsible person along with teaching me how to go along living in European countries!”
A. Quiroz, Redwood High School
SOA was the best month of my whole life! I feel like I have really matured and grown while on this trip. This trip made me realize that music is a true gift! Music and performing gives us the opportunities to connect to people from all around the world. I have touched their lives and they have touched mine! I have learned so much about life, friends, relationships, responsibility, self-esteem, and confidence.
S. Hertz, Santa Susana Performing Arts School
It's the best month of your life, hands down! I did it twice, and nothing was boring. I even plan on coming back as a chaperone! Thank you everyone for the best 2 summers of my life! SOA has a huge place in my heart!
J. Beardsley, Cal State, Northridge
The people on this tour have become my family. It was scary to come on my own and have to meet people you never knew and try to build friendships from that. I feel so much more capable and will take a lot of my lessons learned here back home and will also keep in touch with all my new found family. This tour was better than I ever could have imagined!
C. Gibbs, Ridgeview High School
This is by far one of the best moments of my life!
I. Gorbatok, Washington High School
I loved touring Europe! Our concerts were very rewarding because we had great audiences and a very talented band and choir. The entire trip exceeded all my expectations and I will definitely consider doing it again!
A. Moyer, Mendocino High School
It's a wonderful chance to have an adventure in the musical, geographical and social sense. Thank you for allowing me to take part in this year's SOA chorus; it was really an exciting and memorable journey!
N. Dandapani, Menlo School
SOA has been one of the best experiences of my life! This was my second year being in the choir, and each year is better than the last. Being a part of this amazing organization has driven me to continue in music as a career. Thank you SOA for helping my dreams come true!
A. Stanislaw, Liberty High School
Thank you for the wonderful experience that was SOA 2003! Touring and playing with SOA not only helped to build my independence, self-confidence, and social skills, but also helped me discover the joys of being a musician and a sense of pride in a month's work of great accomplishments as part of an elite group! The trip was truly the greatest thing that ever happened to me, and I hope to travel with SOA again in the next few years!
M. Lu, San Marin High School
I had a great time making new friends, seeing new places and playing music! The trip was a great experience that I'll never forget! Thank you for all of your work put into ensuring our safely and enjoyment.
B. Tellinghuisen, Santana High School
Again I would like to say thank you! You do such a wonderful job in making our dreams come true! SOA is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I can't thank you enough! It is such an honor to play with such high caliber musicians, under the direction of such a professional director. You make dreams come true year after year and words can't explain how grateful I am for making mine come true!
T. Smith, North Tahoe Nigh School
I had such a blast! I was so happy to be able to to perform with this group of talented musicians. Working with Mr. Yoder (director) has been a privilege. He was by far one of the best (and most fun) directors I've worked with! Thank you so much for giving me this chance to do what I love most - singing, traveling, meeting people all at the same time!
T. Fox, Oak Park High School
I had a lot more fun than I thought I would! This is without a doubt the best American European concert tour there is!
J. Harmse, Dinuba High School
The world became a much smaller place after taking this trip. I now have friends across the nation and have special memories with them across the world. It's amazing to look back and think about all the places we performed and all the sights we've seen love to sing and being allowed to sing with people who love it and have such talent doing it has been amazing! The staff was encouraging and all around great.
R. Price, Monache High School
I have been on tours of other countries with other musical groups, but SOA was the most organized, fun and musically inspirational tour of them all! I truly hope I will have the opportunity to achieve that musical experience with SOA again in the future with SOA!
After his second tour with SOA, he writes,
It never ceases to amaze me how organized SOA is, how challenging our performances were and how much fun we had! I just had to come back for another tour!
B. Ralston, Arcadia High School
This was the greatest experience of my entire life! All the cities we visited, all the people we met were awesome and I am so glad I did this.! It is awesome to know that you have gone to places and seen things that others have merely dreamed about!
S. Shields, Clovis West High School
I never expected to meet such wonderful people, become so close to them, and have so much fun! It is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had and it has changed me for the better!
L. Yost, Eureka High School
I've met many lifelong friends on the tour and many memorable experiences from the beautiful setting in Venice to the breathtaking view of the Alps, the SOA '99 European tour is one that I will never forget. Many thanks to the wonderful staff, especially our bus leaders for making this an unforgettable learning experience!
L. Lee, Montgomery High School
My SOA experience turned out even better than I thought or ever dreamed it could be! Performing w/ this group was incredible! I feel like each of my experiences with SOA has contributed to my character and has helped me grow as a person. I was impressed by how efficient everything was fun and how the staff worked together to make things work smoothly. Thank you!
J. McCoy, Petaluma High School
It was the best experience that I have ever known! Europe is the most beautiful place I have ever been and if I could afford it, I would definitely go on this tour again. The performances were excellent. I loved it all!
K. Tschudy, Los Angeles Co. High School for the Arts
In the beginning, I knew that I was going to have a memorable experience. However, little did I know that the friends I made during this 3 week tour and the knowledge that I have gained about the history of the various countries would have such a tremendous impact on me. Music has always been an important part of my life and now, thanks to being part of SOA, it means even more!
M. Silva, Moreau Catholic High School
I thought it was wonderful! I had a great time experiencing things that I'd before only dreamed of. . . . Thanks for everything!
A. Bannister, Woodland High School
I had a blast this summer! This has been the best experience of my life and I will never forget the wonderful things that happened on this trip. I have had the privilege of being able to sing in one of the best choirs in America in some of the most remarkable places in Europe and this is something that will never leave me!
T. Helland, Lincoln High School
I was very scared when I got to Dickinson (College) and I even considered going home! But I stuck it out and I have had the best time of my life! I have made so many friends and my life has been so inspired by this experience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone!
R. Page, Oak Ridge High School
I felt like we all became a big family; that made me much more comfortable.
M. Ward, Big Bear High School
SOA is full of memories and friendship. I have never had as good of an experience anywhere else!
K. Martin, Rosesville High School
It was the best experience in my life! I was so scared the first day I arrived in Carlisle. But I met so many great people and I'm proud to say that I"m part of '95 SOA!
Y. Wakuine, La Conner High School
I loved this trip! It is the greatest experience I have had. I enjoyed every part about this trip - thank you so much!
B. Marinaccio, Ponderosa High School
I can't believe that I had the best time of my life with 200 people who were complete strangers! I would stay on this tour for a year and still enjoy everything! If I ever have this kind of chance again, there is no doubt that I would take it in a second!
T. Gutierrez, Highland High School
It was fantastic performing for real Italian audiences who actually said things like "bravissimo!" I'm amazed that we were able to stay in such classy hotels for such a good price!
K. Weaver, Harry M. Gunn High School
I thought this tour was absolutely marvelous! The music was beautiful and was performed with a tremendous amount of feeling!
P. Porter, Half Moon Bay High School
I loved this trip so much! I learned so much, and I hope that I have the opportunity to do something like this again! I will never forget it!
L. Graff, Big Bear High School
For many of us, this was our first experience away from our homes. Many people were scared of whether they would be accepted by other tour members. By the end of the tour people became so emotional, that you wouldn't have thought that we had only been together for a few weeks.
N. Milburn, Paso Robles High School
This tour was indescribable! We saw so many things and met so many new friends, I hated to say goodbye to all of it. Thank you for making my summer so memorable!
J. Langley, Concord High School
The level of music brought us together, but SOA is so much more than just music. It's the people, the experience, the friendships, the laughters, the tears, the times we spend together, and so much more. I had the time of my life!
S. Chang, Aragon High School
I loved the people I met, the places we saw, and the things we did! Thank you!
M. Hegg, Acalanes High School
I truly had the time of my life! I never could have imagined the feelings that I had when one of the people from the audience came up to me glowing with excitement because of the music you just shared with them! One thing I found out was that music and friends are the greatest gifts in life.
M. Harmon, Modesto Jr. College
This was and will probably be the highlight of my life!
R. Whitfield, Livingston High School
The SOA tour is very hard work, but in the end all the work is rewarded with crowds of people blessed by your music. The feeling of satisfaction is the best feeling you can have! . . .the friends I've made on this tour will be friends for life!
M. Visser, Ontario Christian School
COLORADO [To the Top]
“I’ve learned so much about different cultures on this trip and I would do it again in a heartbeat! When I came to SOA, I met dozens of talented people my age who love music as much as I do. I’ve made so many friends on this trip that I will keep in touch with for decades to come!”
M. Gay, Burlington High School
“It was totally worth the money and the most amazing experience in my life! I am so fortunate that I was chosen to attend this tour. I can’t imagine a better way to see Europe! We got to do things that a normal tourist couldn’t do – sing in Notre Dame! WOW!”
B. Rizzo, Buena Vista High School
“The experiences and people that you will encounter will stay in your hearts forever and no one will ever be able to
take that away from you! I never dreamed I would experience the world, performing with high class musicians in countries and venues!”
C. Bosworth, Thornton High School
The tour has changed me in so many ways! I am a more confident musician now, I learned even more responsibility and other character skills and I was able to be independent of my family and make it through!
K. Fox, Coal Ridge High School
When I got to play with everyone that first day and heard the choir, I was blown away! I never thought that I could be in something so spectacular! I can't wait to spread the word about SOA!
E. Johannessen, Montrose High School
The directors really know what they want out of us as musicians and as respectable people. They are so passionate about music you could see it in the way they conducted! This trip is worth every penny!
A. Tempel, Wiley High School
This is a top of the line tour! Your get what you pay for. The music you make is INCREDIBLE and the staff is WONDERFUL!
J. Vallee, Sterling High School
The musical ability and talent of the students at SOA is truly a blessing and the people/staff are amazing!
T. Reece, Coal Ridge High School
I do believe that this trip has changed my life, most certainly for the better! Not only did I gain a new family, I gained a whole new even deeper respect and love for music! It occurred to me for the first time in Luxembourg, where our audience was clapping, singing and dancing along, that music truly is the universal language, and if I had any doubts before about my wanting to be a music major, they're long gone now! This trip has been such an amazing experience for me!
E. Bruels, Manitou Springs High School
What I really like was seeing the enthusiasm, appreciation, and love for music which was exhibited in both the audiences and our SOA members/faculty! This was extremely inspiring and motivation for me! I loved the people I met and the gorgeous places we visited! This tour has made me extremely proud to be an American and has helped me to love the music which we are known for. This tour has changed my life and helped me realize how much I love music and how proud of it I am!
E. Williams, Poudre High School
It was a wonderful, enjoyable experience that I will never forget! Going on this trip brought alive my dream: traveling with my instrument and seeing the world. I've never participated in concerts like these, with such wonderful audiences. It's great that even though we couldn't really talk to them through words, we could touch them with our music and the love we all share for what we enjoy.
B. Cisneros, Lake County High School
It was the best experience playing and traveling that I have ever done! The staff did an awesome job preparing and helping for the trip. The students were incredible! They all had so much talent. All of the places that we visited were a blast - and all of the concerts were very fun. It was an honor for one to have been in the SOA. Thank you!
K. Van Diemen, Fruita Monument High School
I can't believe how easy it was to meet people . . . I have made some of the greatest memories of my life on this trip and I will never as long as I live forget this experience! I loved the staff, the chaperones, the directors, and the people. We made beautiful music together! Thank you for giving me this experience!
S. Williams, Roosevelt High School
Going on this tour was one of the best experiences of my life! I learned a lot of things about myself that will help me make important decisions in the future. I also really appreciated how all of those in charge treated us like adults. It forced me to become a more responsible person.
D. Baughman, Bear Creek High School
I've never had a better experience in my life! I always felt that everything was under control - SOA does a great job of organizing! I can honestly say that every moment of the trip was wonderful - even the rehearsals at Carlisle. It was such a privilege to be a part of the SOA family - not only of the friendships made, but the standard of musical excellence. I want to thank you for a summer of lasting memories! I will never forget this wonderful experience!
H. Skold, home school, Haxtun
I have met friends for life, and wonderful guidance and improvement in the vocal field. (The staff) and this trip have changed my life drastically to make me a better person. I am forever grateful to you! I can't express how exciting and wonderful this trip was! I have grown musically and within myself as I survive alone in the real world. I made new friends that I will never forget.
K. Dennis, Colorado Academy
(I'm) full of more emotions then you can comprehend! Everyone grows and learns from friendships, culture, and time away from home. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
M. Anderson, Greeley West High School
Throughout the past 25 days, I accomplished many things I thought I would never do. Besides All-State chorus, I have never been able to sing with a different choir other than my school choir. I also got the chance to travel in Europe; something I always wanted to do. I am very glad I got the chance to perform with SOA. It truly was a chance of a lifetime!
R. Vitkus, Cherry Creek High School
This was a very well organized tour. Even if there were problems, we never really knew about them - it was nice not having to worry about the little things! It was a great experience and I would love to do it again!
T. Barthuly, Fort Collins High School
The tour is so organized, wonderfully planned. It's definitely worth the time preparing and fund-raising! I loved the college credit classes - they made the tour more meaningful.
R. Zal, University of Northern Colorado
CONNECTICUT [To the Top]
"You get to meet and perform with so many talented and different individuals!”
A. Kempson,Wilton High School
Not only do you travel around the countries in Europe and gain knowledge and understanding of different cultures, you also build your own character with this new chance of freedom and responsibility!
C. Rumbough, Greenwich High School
It was so special to spend time in such beautiful places with such a talented group of people who love music as much as I do! Although we all come from very different backgrounds our common passion for music helped to bring us all together.
A. O'Brien, Greenwich High School
Being on the SOA tour showed me a new approach to music and sharing it with others. It also gave me the opportunity to be with other students just like myself from all across the nation.!
A. Goldenberg, Danbury High School
The concert aspect of the trip was excellent! The choir in particularly sounded amazing in the cathedrals. Mr. Yoder was an energetic and encouraging conductor . . . he really made us feel talented and reminded us how special we were.
J. Porter, Norwich Free Academy
I would like to thank the SOA Staff for an amazing month, a month which changed my life!
D. Seldin, St. Luke's High School
It was one if not the most uplifting and rewarding experiences of my life! The friends you meet are friends for a lifetime. When we all sing together, it sounds better than any All State choir could.
E. Launder, Fairfield College Prep. School
I don't remember the type of people I thought would be coming on this trip, but the only thing I can think now is that they're the most wonderful people I've ever met. This trip has helped me to realize the type of people I want to be with - the atmosphere and European countries only helped to reinforce the bond that we shared from the first days at Dickinson. I truly believe that this was the one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Thanks so much!
E. Chow, Ridgefield High School
You guys are definitely for real. This has probably been the most fun I've had in my life so far!
B. Shanbaum, Glastonbury High School
The whole thing felt like a dream before, during and after. With the memories and friends I've made, I don't have to wake up!
J. Delano, New Milford High School
I had a wonderful time! It didn't feel like I was gone a month because there was always something to do - I never had time to miss home. Thanks again for a wonderful trip!
J. Acock, Fort Walton Beach High School
The SOA tour was the most incredible thing I've ever done! I still can't believe "I" actually toured through Europe! It's definitely the chance of a lifetime! As far as I'm concerned, we're some of the luckiest kids in the world! A chance like this doesn't usually come around. Thank you soooo much!
L. Kisselbrack, Valley Regional High School
DELAWARE [To the Top]
“The tour was overwhelming at first but all the hard work was worth it!”
M. Oei, Charter School Of Wilmington
It was the best experience of my life! Everything was perfect!
Z. Brandt, Alexis I. DuPont High School
I loved the tour! I had an incredible time! This was by far the most rewarding experience of my life! I love SOA!
L. DiPasquale, Caesar Rodney High School
I had so much fun on this tour! The feeling of singing with a group with so much talent was electrifying! (Our director) really helped us bring the music to life and he's a really wonderful choral instructor.
S. Rado, Glasgow High School
I thought that SOA experience was awesome! The whole trip was incredible!
K. Clark, Cape Henlopen High School
It was a fairy tale trip - I couldn't have asked for more! If someone has the opportunity to do this, DO IT!!!
K. Puma, Dover High School
FLORIDA [To the Top]
“This has been absolutely, without a doubt, the experience of a lifetime! The musical staff was excellent, and I really liked the sections of music! I would recommend this tour, without any hesitation, to talented students!
M. Henson, Cocoa Beach High School
“The memories I’ve made will stay with me for the rest of my life! Just the idea that I got to travel all over Europe at the age of 16 is incredible, I mean, how many people get to say they’ve done what I have? I feel like I’ve reached out and touched so many people’s lives through music!”
V. Buffkin, A. Crawford Mosley High School
I had a Blast! Everyone was just extremely nice and I made so many wonderful, lifelong friends! The energy on stage was fantastic! There are a lot of things I can say but to sum it up . . . I DON'T WANT TO GO HOME!"
M. Ambs, Apopka High School
I recommend this tour to every musician who is looking for great music, everlasting friendships, a fantastic staff and the best time of their young lives!
J. Figueroa, Miami Beach High School
The whole trip turned out to be something I didn't expect. . . it was awesome! I loved it! Thank you so much for accepting me to go on this tour! It was a life changing experience!
L. Schroeder, Holy Trinity Academy
This tour was one of my best experiences! I've learned so much and have made many friendships. Thanks for adding such a beautiful chapter to my life!
M. Perkins, Ft. Walton Beach High School
I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience! We laughed 'til we hurt, and cried with joy watching these amazingly talented kids perform. I'd highly recommend the trip to anyone!
S. Schroeder, chaperone from Melbourne Beach, FL
I loved it! I am so happy that I was able to have this experience! Thank you so much for giving me this one in a life time experience!
C. Lundblad, New World SOTA High School
I can honestly say that my SOA experience has been one of the best experiences of my life. The friendships and bonds we have made and share with one another will last a lifetime!
C. Switalski, Seminole High School
I had the time of my life! Europe was amazing; the people I met were amazing and "my" bus rocked! The musical experience I had was superb and & I'll definitely recommend this tour to friends in the future! SOA made my summer unforgettable!
A. Schulz, Gaither High School
I really enjoyed SOA! I have performed with other bands before, but I didn't feel as good about those trips as I did about this one. Before, I felt left out and the people were cold and unfriendly. The directors were mean and would yell at someone for playing a wrong note. These directors also didn't try to get to know the participants. Here, I like Mr. Barr and the rest of the staff. People were friendly and I made many friends.
J. Ter Haar, Bradenton Christian School
GEORGIA [To the Top]
I loved it!! You guys are great! I'm positive I am trying out next year. The amazing thing is that I feel so comfortable around everyone. I am usually a shy guy when I meet people not this time. I am so proud of myself for making it. Now I can say that I was in the country's BEST European Music tour!
J. Marcantonio, Oconee County High School
I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and grown so much! I was very impressed at how organized everything was!
A. Dollar, Troup High School
This has been the best experience of my life! I know people I've met on this trip will be my friends forever. I would do this again in a heartbeat!
J. McKay, Vidalia High School
I had never sung with so many talented people before. These concerts we had will be the best in my lifetime. I love all the friends I made on the trip, and of course, our conductors.
K. Chiu, Parkview High School
Excellent! - I would recommend it to anyone. VERY well organized! My parents were amazed on how you guys could pull off a tour. I guess it pays to have done this for 19 years.
S. Tompkins, Purdue University
I've made friends for life! It's amazing how well you get to know people in less than a month when you share things like this. It's been awesome and if I had the chance to do it over I'd go for it!
C. Bertz, Evans High School
I think it is a great way to spend the summer! All the places were great. I definitely will recommend SOA to other people!
J. Pyron, East Coweta High School
I've enjoyed the tour very much. Dr. Ausmann was a GREAT director for us. The people are great and all of them seem to be very talented. The tour was handled very well and all of the hotels were very nice. If given the chance, I would most definitely come back!
J. Caylor, Southest Whitfield High School
Wow! Unbelievable! Everyone working together and supporting each other. It was like one big family. I loved the SOA tour experience.
E. Hiett, Mt. Zion High School
I feel the group was comprised of people with very high quality and standards. What really made the trip, was the fact that we had so much fun within so much organization.
S. Wilkerson, Savannah High School
HAWAII [To the Top]
This has seriously been the most entertaining, educating, and memorable 25 days of my life! I will definitely recommend the tour to everyone back home. Thanks SOA!
I. Hrubos, Iolani School
It gave me a great opportunity to meet people who came from different backgrounds and have different perspectives! I've never had friends from other states and I now truly appreciate the diversity we have in America. Thank you so much for this opportunity!
J. Hiu, Moanalua High School
IDAHO [To the Top]
SOA has been one of the most fun times of my life! It is certainly the single best month of my life! It was definitely worth every penny.
L. Anderson, Boise High School
It was the best musical experience I have ever had. It was worth every penny!
R. Chace, Meridian High School
This is the best European music tour in the U.S.! I would strongly encourage other students to participate!
J. Law, Highland High School
It's the best, most organized, and efficiently run European musical tour! The first time I went was the high point of my life so far. The price is pretty much a steal for what's in the itinerary! Even on my third (and not last!) SOA tour, I'm still consistently and continually impressed with everything. This really is the best of the best of the best. It's life-changing, to say the least, and I really couldn't ask for anything better. Thanks! The expectations are always exceeded!
J. Lyman, Sandpoint High School
It was probably the most amazing experience a fifteen year old like me could ever have! It was better that I imagined! I feel like the staff couldn't have been better. They are all so amazing! The choir and band were amazing too and I've made so many friends.
R. Steele, Preston High School
The trip Rocks!!
J. Huglin, Centennial High School
This was all like a dream come true for me! I never thought I'd ever be doing something like this so early in my lifetime!
M. Avila, Caldwell High School
This trip was the most exciting and wonderful and fulfilling experience of my life! Spending time and practically living with people who enjoy and are serious about music is something you don't experience very often and it has been totally rewarding! All the staff have been incredibly helpful and have made me feel welcome and like family. Thank you so so so much for this wonderful opportunity and hopefully I will see you all in the future.
R.Cox, Sandpoint High School
I didn't really believe this trip was going to be the experience of a lifetime when I first planned to come. 25 days later I realize . . . man I was wrong! I was really impressed with how well put together the tour was and I was also impressed with Mr. Yoder (the choir director).
A. Vander Woude, Nampa Christian High School
This has been one of the best trips/tours I've been on, ever! It was an amazing experience to be able to work with other musicians like myself and perform for audiences who truly appreciate it. I also enjoyed interacting with my peers from around the country. I've learned alot about friends, music, responsibility, life, and health. Thank you.
T. Anderson, Eagle High School
It was awesome and it is something that I shall never forget the memories and the friends and the great directors!!
D. Sawyer, Jerome High School
I felt the whole tour was very thoroughly and professionally (done). I was honored to be a chaperone and assist the staff in some of it's duties.
T. Anderson, chaperone from Eagle, ID
Wow! This tour has changed my life! I have made forever friends and have had so much fun doing it! I loved having the opportunity to sing in so many places! I loved the attitudes of the adults, including bus leaders, directors and chaperones - they were all so positive, more importantly, so helpful. Thanks, SOA, for making a dream come true!
M. Olsen, Ricks College
I had a very great experience w/ SOA this year. Our concerts were wonderful, we had great directors, (and) we worked as a team with the same goal in mind. I made friends that will last a lifetime!
J. Stewart, Cambridge High School
The staff and the whole tour were absolutely incredible. I've made life-long friends, lasting memories, enhanced cultural knowledge, and become a better musician. Thank you for everything, SOA.
C. McNett, Lakeland High School
I'm so glad that I took this wonderful opportunity because I believe I would have totally regretted it. It has helped me grow musically and emotionally. Thanx SOA for all your hard work!
N. Scott, Borah High School
Working and playing with such a diverse group of musical talents was beyond compare. Learning how music is and should be, appreciated in the different countries in Europe opened my mind on not just listening, but playing for such great people.
R. Brown, South Fremont High School
I thought this tour was wonderful! I can't believe the friends I've made. I just wish the tour was longer. Thanx for making this happen and I hope you can keep it going for a very long time!
M. Carney, Capital High School
I loved every minute of it! I have made friends that will be friends FOREVER. I really love to sing and now I've sung in great cathedrals in Europe. How can I top that in my life? Thanks!
K. Evensen, Coeur d'Alene High School
The tour was great! It was worth every penny. The friendships I have made will be the greatest treasures I've ever known. The feelings during the patriotic sections (of music) are so unexplainable. Thanks SOA, for a lifelong love!
R. Parkinson, Sugar-Salem High School
ILLINOIS [To the Top]
This tour has been so great! I have felt so completely comfortable with everyone on this tour from the staff to the students. I always felt completely safe with the places we were going and the people we were with.
K. Budd, Antioch Community High School
The staff makes you feel comfortable from the start. Everything is so organized and everyone knows you by name when you walk into orientation the first day. I'm amazed at all of the work and organization that goes into this tour. Never once did I worry about what was or was not going to happen on the trip. Coming here, I never thought it would have opened my eyes to who I am as a person and make me grow so much in such a short time. I truly appreciate all that the Sound of America does for its students. It's more than music; it's about change and (peronal) growth, too!
E. Schmidt, Woodland Unit 5 High School
I just want to say that this tour has been one of the highlights of my life and I will take it with me wherever I go!"
D. Olsen, Fulton High School
The SOA tour has meant a lot to me. I was able to become close and bond with a lot of different people. Being with these people for twenty-five days has made them feel like family to me and I wish this tour could last forever. I cannot tell you how many times my group of friends talked about destroying our passports so we would just have to stay in Europe for the rest of our lives.
W. Bryant, Murphysboro High School
Each day brought on whole new experiences and was just a blessing from God to have the opportunity to perform and connect with so many wonderful and talented people! Each person I came in contact with, whether it be choir, band or staff member, taught me something new and left their own personal finger print on my life forever.
I've done things that only other SOA members have done. I have gone farther than I ever dreamed and I only just graduated from high school. Because of the staff and every other person on this trip, my heart is better. I'm still a girl going home but I'm a girl with a whole new understanding of life and even myself.
B. Hillyard, Edwards County High School
I was a little apprehensive when I first arrived, but very hopeful. However, with each country my expectations were far surpassed by the actual experiences, . . . the people were awesome!
S. Schackmann, Newton High School
Being able to share the SOA tradition with such a fine group of musicians as well as traveling across Europe has been a special time for me and I appreciate all the hard work put in by everyone on the staff. Thank you!
B. Mayberry, DePaul University
I recommend this tour wholeheartedly to anyone interested! The SOA family will be part of my life forever, and I can't wait to come back!!!
M. Bader, Belleville West High School
At first I didn't really want to come because I didn't think that I would meet anybody, but after a couple days I knew a lot of people. The friendships will last a lifetime and the performances will never be forgotten. It was excellent!
L. Nadig, Stockton High School
It has been the best summer of my life and just to sing in many places and visited places that we could only dream about! If I had the chance, I would do it all over again.
A. Klemenko, Vander Cook College of Music
During the past 25 days, I've made many new lifelong friends and shared many memories! I feel that this sure was a once-in-a lifetime trip and would wish to comeback next year if finances let me.
B. Heitman, Warsaw High School
The tour goes fast, but the experience stays with you for a life-time! The tour was breath-taking every minute and I wouldn't change a thing! Thank you, SOA!
K. Dillett, Somonauk High School
I made friends here that I know I could trust forever. I also compliment the organizers of the SOA concert tour.
C. Schlatter, Prairie Central High School
I have had so much fun! I feel like I've been on an educational, musical and pleasurable voyage. I have met people that I will be friends with forever. It was amazing how close I became to my roommate, bus partners, and other members. SOA does become like a family!
S. Hayden, Belleville West Twp. High School
The staff made things so easy. - Very well organized tour. Go SOA!
A. Kim, Richwoods High School
It was the best experience and the most fun I have ever had! Everything went very smoothly. There was an incredible amount of variety in every town we visited. We had great directors and a great repertoire of music. I'll always recommend the tour in the future! It was incredible!
J. Peacock, Dundee-Crown High School
INDIANA [To the Top]
“It was an amazing experience with wonderful musicians and an amazing staff! I knew instantly that this would be better than anything I have ever done before, including All-State! If I can some how get the money again, I will, without a doubt in my mind, come back!”
K. Riegel, East Central High School
“This trip has made me a better person and I thank everyone for helping me and sharing this journey with me!”
E. Siler, Southwood High School
The tour is a very good music program that is designed to push you talents while helping you grow as a person!
J. Peugh, Indiana Academy for the Science
This is the best tour musically and memorably! It will be on the highlights of your life. This tour has changed my life and will influence everything I do with my life from now!
K. Fong, Brown County High School
I have grown more as an individual in the past month than I would have in a year!
L. Rose, Connersville High School
I had the best 25 days in my whole life! It was so exciting playing in front of a European audience who truly appreciated what you were doing. I will try to be back, I had a blast!
T. Bonfiglio, Carroll High School
This tour has been one of the best experiences I've ever had! The friends I made I'll never forget, and I know we'll always keep in touch. I am so glad I got the opportunity to go on this trip, it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm so thankful I didn't pass it up! (Performing in the concert halls in Luxembourg and Strasbourg was awesome!)
K. Wooten, North Montgomery High School
I learned so much about performance, traveling, relationships, musicianship, people relationships and unfamiliar customs while on tour with SOA. This combination provides a wonderful growing experience for all involved and was largely made possible by the terrific staff and their professionalism. SOA is truly among the best America has to offer from her youth!
A. Manges, Pike Central High School
When I first decided to go, I was only excited about the tour and performances themselves. Little did I realize that on the tour, I was not only visiting another country, but another way of life. At the performances, I wasn't just giving my voice, but myself; my heart. I'm sure I will never be the same. You have no idea what this trip has done for me! Thank you so very much!
J. Love, Penn High School
The trip was a totally worthwhile & extraordinary experience! Not only did I see lots of Europe, but got to sing with a fantastic music organization.
K. Milnes, Purdue University
I thought the trip was very well organized and was lots of fun! I would very much love to travel with SOA again.
A.Vanes, Plymouth High School
Never in my life have I been in a group that pulled together so fast and worked so hard for the same goals. The SOA tour really helped me to grow emotionally, spiritually and musically - I'll never forget this month!
J. Martens, Eleanor-Roosevelt High School
I enjoyed very much performing with a group as talented as the SOA Honor Band and Chorus. I had a great time touring Europe and I made a lot of very good friends. This has been one of, if not the greatest experiences of my life.
S. Schreiber Lawrence Central High School
I'm planning on recommending this trip to a lot of people. It's a wonderful experience and something I'll never forget. There has been so much that I've learned on this trip. The main thing is responsibility! I recommend that every young person should take this trip as a challenge! It's worth every penny!
S. Rake, Borden High School
[To the Top]
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