Iowa to New Hampshire Testimonials

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IOWA [To the Top]

“This tour changed my life for the better!  This tour is the best opportunity any student could have!  I have made amazing friends and they will always be my life-long friends!” “When I got to Elizabethtown, I was scared and home sick but as the trip progressed, the home sickness melted away and I made best friends!”

K. Kleinow, Waukon High School


I have met some of the most amazing people! I loved how welcoming all the staff was. They really wanted me here! - I wasn't another student, they got to know me!

H. Wagner, Johnston High School

I had a fantastic experience! I didn't believe how good the music turned out to be the staff was wonderful!

S. Kiener, Dowling High School


(The music we made) was gorgeous and I did get goose bumps every time we sang or soloists sang!

A. Frederiksen, Atlantic High School

I never thought it would be this amazing! The places we went to and performed in were nothing like I thought it would be! The best thing about this trip isn't the places or the things I bought, it's the friendships that I'm taking home with me.

A. Muller, Okoboji High School

I loved it! Everything was well-organized. I have musically matured, since our 1st rehearsal. SOA has taught me self-discipline and to always strive for the best!

W. Martin, Waterloo West High School

When I first started playing clarinet, I never imagined I"d be able to play with some of the US's best young adults in Europe! This was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I'm glad to have done this! I would definitely do the tour again in a heartbeat! I met so many wonderful and incredibly talented people. I really appreciate the challenge this music gave me, and I really feel it made me a better musician. Thanks to the whole SOA family for some of the best memories of my life!

L. Pederson, Alta High School

I had so much fun! This was an incredible experience! I enjoyed everything! Thank you for helping to make this the best trip I've ever been on!

R. Egel, Linn-Mar High School

This tour has shown me that there are many people who feel the same way I do about music. The tour has made me want to work harder as a musician and keep up a high level of musicianship back home!

W. Sheeder, Guthrie Center High School


I feel like I have grown not only as a performer, but as a person. I have seen, heard and learned so much that I can hardly believe it! It was a wonderful experience that I will definitely cherish and be proud of!

E. Jones, Mt. Ayr Community High School


I never thought that I would make so many close friends in just a short period of time. It was great!!! Thank you for letting me be a part of this wonderful group and I want this organization to continue for many years to come!

N. Roelfs, Sheldon High School


The people were friendly and loving. It is an experience like none other I have ever had!

R. Buechler, Ballard Community High School


I was surprised at the amount of freedom we were given and even more surprised that we didn't lose anyone. It was really great playing with a real band and not being practically the only trumpet. I am thrilled to have been here!

R. Dvorak, Riceville Comm. High School


Rachel & I really enjoyed the tour. We still can't believe we visited Europe and participated in the wonderful concerts with all these talented students. We really appreciate all the long hours and careful planning that went into this trip.

B. Dvorak, Chaperone


The SOA certainly brought out all of the talent and pride of achievement in its 1993 participants including our son, Joe. Touring Europe with the group and performing with them were the highlights of his summer. Thanks to you and all of those in your well-tuned, both musically and logistically, organization for making it possible and making him part of such an exciting and uplifting experience. The talent, direction and program were all first-rate and both (Bon Voyage) performances were great!

M. & H. VandeKieft, IA parents (Pella Comm. High School)

KANSAS [To the Top]

The talent that flows from the Choir and Band is unbelievable!

C. VonBon, Wabaunsee High School

The feeling you get after an amazing performance or seeing the look on the faces of the audience in something I will carry with me forever!

S. West, Girard High School

This trip has changed the person I am and my perspective of people and the world. I'm a more open minded and independent person from this trip and I've made some lifelong friends in the process. Thanks SOA!

A. Luetters, Sacred Heart JR-SR High School


I thank you guys so much for what you've allowed me to experience and who you've allowed me to become!

A. Jesseph, Hugoton High School

Performing with quality musicians has encouraged me to excel even more in music. The friends I have made are some of the greatest I will know. This trip changed me as a person, encouraging me to be a proud American and a professional musician.

A. Rockers, Hays High School

I loved all the kids - they are such a good group. I am so impressed with all the talent! Wow! Wow!

S. Enns, chaperone, from Wamego, KS

This experience was all around awesome! What a life-changing event! Thank you so much!

E. Thompson, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School


This trip was truly liberating and wonderful experience! I never would have thought it possible to see this much and do this much at such a young age. I will certainly never forget my experiences here. I have met some wonderful people and was honored to perform with that many wonderful musicians. I feel truly blessed with this opoportuity!

C. Harding, Bonner Springs High School

My son had a wonderful time on the 2002 Tour! It was just a fabulous experience for him. He came home a lot more confident and grown up AND committed to his music. Almost immediately he changed his major to Music Performance and is working hard to achieve his goals. We were very impressed with your organization! Keep up the good work!

B. Rockers, parent from Hays, KS

It has been the most incredible cultural experience of my life! All of the new friendships I have will be cherished forever. The experience of singing in such sacred places as St. Marks Cathedral and the Notre Dame Cathedral literally sent chills down my spine! I would recommend this tour to anyone and remind them that the money is most defiantly worth it.

L. Finger, Lawrence Free State High School


Wowsers! I had no IDEA I would meet so many wonderful people or go through and learn a lot about the culture of such famous and historical cities! I have so much confidence and pride in who I am now that things will never be the same in my life. Thank you!

K. Herndon, Blue Valley Northwest High School


It was the most awesome experience I have ever had! Everyone on the tour was very kind and loving, and took care of one another, like a family. I enjoyed being able to see things I never dreamed of seeing before. It was by far, one of the best experiences of my life! Thank you SOA!!!

M. McNeil, Northern Valley High School


The relationships you make and the friends from across the country are phenomenal! This tour has been my best investment in my future! I would recommend it above all other camps!

K. Baack, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School


The SOA Experience for me has been very joyous and fun! I experienced so many different cultures and people and most of all, I made some truly great friends and made beautiful music. Thanks!

A. Blake, Belle Plaine High School


It was the best experience I've ever had. Not only the music part but the personal part of growing and maturing. I thank you all again for letting me be a part of the SOA family - I'll never forget any of this!

D. O'Keefe, Burlington High School


I think it was the experience of a lifetime. So many things have touched my life forever. You will never hear anything like the chorus in St. Mark's nor the thrill of the audiences' standing ovations. It is truly worth every penny. If you have the opportunity , do it, or you will regret it for the rest of your life!

J. Radtke, Lincoln High School


This has been one of the most positive experiences in my life. I never dreamed I'd see any of Europe, let alone 5 different countries. Not to mention the music appreciation I've gained by realizing that there are other people out there who love it as much as I do.

A. Thompson, Napavine High School


This has been one of the greatest experiences of my life! I will be back!

J. Moberg, Olathe South High School


It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, I have learned so much about not only other cultures, and peoples way of life, but I've also become a better and more open-minded person, grown musically and learned a lot about myself. I'll never forget my wonderful experience!

N. Read, Jayhawk Linn High School


I personally feel that this trip has given me an entirely different aspect on my view for college. I think SOA teaches responsibility to everyone. SOA has given me so many personal memories and friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life! SOA rules!

M. Van Horn, Colby High School


I have really enjoyed touring with SOA!! It has been the highlight of my entire life! I was a little scared to come over when I was the only one from my area, but now that I'm going home I realize how important this trip has become to me. I want to thank everyone for making this possible!

L. Hull, Hill City High School


I really loved it! I have honestly never had a trip like this! I've never met more people in the short of time span that are now really good friends. Thanks SOA for providing the opportunity to experience something like this. I would love to go again!

R. Kliewer, Ulysses High School

KENTUCKY [To the Top]

“It’s the closest you will come to being a professional career musician without being paid!”

A. Buede, Conner High School


The staff is an important part of making this tour successful and you can't get that with other tours. Their devotion and dedication to making this successful is amazing! It was really cool how we got to connect with the people who live in Europe through music and it really made the trip special. This was amazing!

K. Wallenhaupt, Russell High School

This experience is one I will never forget! The intensity of the audience response and the quality of the music we created made my first trip to Europe more remarkable than I ever imagined! By spreading the universal language and love held within music, SOA is making our world a better place!

S. Rau, Bourbon Co. High School


Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to meet so many wonderful people who shared my love of music!

M.Williams, Kentucky Country Day School


SOA is an exciting experience! It's very easy to make friends. It has enriched my life in so many indescribable ways! Thanks SOA staff, for making such wonderful dreams possible!

G. Sewell, Dawson Springs High School


I've enjoyed this trip so much! I never thought that I would meet life long friends. I'm so glad that I got the opportunity to do this! I would recommend it to anybody! Thanks so much SOA, you've changed my life!

N. Hurst, East Jessamine High School


It was a dream come true! Seeing those audiences' reactions was enough to set my mind on one goal and that's to make it professional in singing and song writing! Thank you for making this a wonderful summer!

C. Gellner, Spencer County High School


It is a truly remarkable and once in a lifetime opportunity that will always hold a special place in my heart! Thank you SOA!

B. Robertson, Kentucky Country Day School

The SOA tour was AMAZING! I loved it! The most amazing thing was the church service we sang for!

S. Taylor, McLean County High School


It is something that has made me a better leader and also a lot more mature. It was the most beloved experience and I thank you for the opportunity!

R. Gower, Madisonville North Hopkins High School


Wow! What a trip! I really enjoyed it! My life has been changed and positively affected by this wonderful experience! I experienced awesome music, fun, new lessons learned, new cultures, and I've made life-long friends! Thanks so much!

A. Turner, Johnson Central High School


Our travel was well planned with our best interests looked after by the staff. I enjoyed being a part of a quality group run by quality people!

A. Hall, Music Director at Dawson Springs High School

LOUISIANA [To the Top]

“I can’t say enough good things about SOA.  This tour has given me the opportunity to travel to places I’ve never been, meet people I didn’t know, and perform for strangers who don’t even speak my language.  This has definitely been the best 24 days of my life!  I’m sure that the friends that I’ve made on this trip will be lifelong friends.  All I can say is “thank you” for giving me this wonderful opportunity!”

J. White, Denham Springs High School


“This has been the best experience of my life! I am going to try very hard to come back in a couple of years!”

V. Otte, A.M. Barbe High School


“I loved every minute spent on this trip! I’m closer to the people I’ve met on this tour than I am to people I’ve known my entire life! The intense practices in Elizabethtown were worth it!”

M. Slack, Sarepta High School


It was inspiring to see such a wonderful team of professionals who not only strove to make the experience educational insightful but who also cared so deeply for each every student on tour.

C. Turner, Chaperone, Louisiana Chaperone


This was a fantastic musical experience that I believe every musician should have a chance to take!

A. Cornwell, South Terrebone High School


It is a great way to learn some excellent music, tour Europe, and find a true choral and instrumental atmosphere! It isn't like any place you will ever sing in!

M. Turner, St. Charles Catholic High School

These are top-notch kids and the screening application process really works! All the time you spent selecting kids really pays off on the tour. The quality of your staff makes the trip such a success! The directors are the best of the best!

R. Hoffman, Louisiana Chaperone


This experience has most definitely changed my life! Playing concerts for huge, enthusiastic crowds with such wonderful musicians gave me chills!

C. Godelfer, Isadore Newman High School


I have never gotten the opportunity to perform with such a talented group (not even All-State)! Many of us will never have this opportunity again and you made each moment special! Every second of the tour I will treasure forever! Thanks to each one of you for your dedication to SOA!

K. Peltier, Ponchatoula High School


It was a blast! I enjoyed it to the fullest. I've made so many new friends! The staff was really helpful too. I just loved it!

J. Landry, Carencro High School


The staff was great and the tour was conducted in a most professional manner. Classy and first rate all the way! A truly memorable experience! Thanks!

L. LeMaster, Lewis Co. High School


At first, I, along with everyone else, was insecure about spending 3 weeks with over a hundred people unknown to me in various unknown countries. But, I believe that I've never made friends so easily before. I think that the tour has made my dreams come true and has allowed me to be a part of all the other SOA members' dreams too. That is the best part, sharing a dream.

C. Rosenow, Ouachita Parish High School


This has been the best experience of my life! Thank you, SOA, for making it possible!

M. Battaglio, Hanson Memorial High School


I am positive that this trip has truly changed my life! I learned and experienced so many incredible things! I am extremely grateful for this opportunity!

N. Broussard, Christian Life Academy


The trip was absolutely wonderful - it really helped me to grow as a person, both musically and personally. I would love to come again next year!

S. Madere, Hahnville High School


I think that this tour has been the best experience in my life! I think that the chaperones were great. Mr. Shaw (former SOA director) is an excellent director who has terrific views and ideas about life. He is an asset to the tour. I really feel that I am a part of the SOA family. It is a great organization that has enlightened the lives of many people, young and old. Thank you!

B. Viguerie, Vandebilt Catholic High School

MAINE [To the Top]

It surpassed ally my thoughts and expectations!

B. McMann, Houlton High School

I loved the tour! I have learned so much, - a great experience! Things I have learned on this tour both musically, educationally as well as emotionally will help me later on. I don't think I could have possibly had a better summer in Maine with the comparison of a singing tour of Europe!

E. Ramsdell, Washington Academy


This is the most rewarding thing I've ever done! The experience we all had is unbelievable! I love SOA - thank you for helping me do what I love best, singing!

S. Trumble, Gray-New Gloucester High School

My expectations were surpassed! I am forever grateful to (the SOA Staff) for organizing this tour. It has been extraordinary!

B. Putnam, Greely High School


Words can't describe what this tour has meant to me! It is so amazing to be involved with people who share my passion for music! The friends I've made will last a lifetime. Thank you for being such a part of me that will always shine!

K. O'Heir, Waterville High School


THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I can't express in words how much this trip has meant to me! It was the most amazing experience I've had in my entire life! The friends I've made and the places I've seen are unlike any others. Thank you again for the opportunity you've given me and many others!

J. Russell, Catherine McAvley High School

The past 25 days have been the experience of a lifetime! The friendships I've made, places we've visited and halls we've performed in have all been amazing! I'm very impressed with how well the entire tour and pre-tour information is organized! To anyone debating about whether to sign up for the tour or not to, sign up! If you don't, you're missing out on an amazing experience!

C. Curtis, Yarmouth High School

The friendships and the experience I have had will stay with me forever. This is the most exciting thing I've done and I'd do it again. I will love SOA always! Thank you for this opportunity

S. Babbidge, Caribou High School

I think that the highlight of the trip has to do with the high quality people selected for the trip. Everyone is polite and everyone likes everyone. And, there is a great relationship between staff and students. I hope I can come again!

M. Davis, Mt. Desert Island High School


Written about one of the concerts: I just took one look at the audience and knew instantly that this would be the performance of a lifetime. We sang as if there was no tomorrow and never before have I been so moved.

J. Beveridge, Messalonskee High School


This has been a great tour - I can't say enough good things about it!

S. Booker, Waterville High School


SOA was a once in a lifetime experience that cannot be duplicated! The combination of sightseeing and performing is such an outstanding, unique experience for the students (and the chaperones, too!)! I 'm so lucky to have been able to participate in this tour! Thanks a million!

Mrs. N. Russell, chaperone, Scarborough

MARYLAND [To the Top]

“I have made closer friends than any I had at home.  The opportunity to be surrounded by musicians who are all of great talent and character is very rare and valuable!”

B. Stern, North Point High School for Science, Technology and Industry


It cost a lot of money, but the amount it cost doesn’t even cover the reward! This is an amazing program that everyone should go through!”

A. Parker, Winters Mill High School


“I’ve never been in a band this good before and it was exciting to perform at all of the concert locations in Europe!”

E. Dustin, Archbishop Spalding High School


“It’s pretty amazing how a bunch of people can come together and have to live with each other for three weeks and end up not wanting to leave.  Thank you so much for letting me experience this with you – it means a lot to me! I highly recommend it!”

J. Flowers, Chopticon High School


Try to go! At all costs, it's worth it! I've made closer friends than I thought was possible. This trip means so much!

A. Bartel, Williamsport High School


I have never seen two better conductors in my entire life! At almost every concert I had chills run up and down my spine when I remembered where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing. I truly cannot express what this experience did for me! I'm not the same person and musician as I was when I left home.

B. Peroutka, Archbishop Spalding High School

I had a great time on this trip and I felt that I have grown better as a person and a musician. Thank you for giving me such a wonderful opportunity!

H. Sprague, Albert Einstein High School


On this trip I was able to make new friends and improve on my instrument. But I received a lot more than I expected. The trip was very fun and one of the best organized trips that I have been on! Thank you for selecting me to be a participant on this tour!

R. Harris, Bishop McNamara High School


The tour was everything I expected it to be and more! I learned so much, and am still in shock from the phenomenal organization of this tour. The phase materials covered absolutely everything, and gave me much confidence in the quality of the tour.

D. O'Connor, Winston Churchill High School


The trip was everything it was said to be and more!

G. Duvalsaint, Paint Branch High School


This was definitely an experience that changed my life! It was really nice being with a group with so much experience. You knew exactly what to see and where to take us!

M. Piccione, C. Milton Wright High School


My experience w/ SOA has made this the best summer of my life! I have had so many amazing experiences with the tour with our concerts, the places we have seen and the friends I have made! I think the entire tour was run very well and I would strongly recommend this tour to anyone who was given the chance to apply. It was an experience that has changed my life in more ways than one and it is an experience I will never forget. Thank you!

R. Crotty, Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School


Wow! I had a blast! It was an astounding experience performing with so many "first-class" musicians! The places where we were able to perform, especially the cathedrals, were unbelievable!

K. Hamm,Urbana High School


This trip has been the best thing that has ever happened to me! Seeing Europeans love our music so much makes me work harder to impress them, and self satisfaction of knowing I made those people happy. Also making a lot of new friends that I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, forget! Thank you for letting me experience this opportunity!

T. Hallinan, Glen Burnie High School


I expected it to be fun, but this trip absolutely blew my mind! I made friends for a lifetime!

T. Rick, McDonough High School


During the tour, not only did I visit places and do things that I never thought I would be able to, but I've met people who I know will be close to me forever. I've finally found people who share goals with me - people who really understand. I hope this tour is available to other people for a long time to come - because my experiences here will stay in my heart forever. Thank you!!

L. Usilton, Parkside High School


I was proud to be an SOA member after my first trip. I'm even prouder now after my second!

G. Rogerson, University of Maryland


SOA has been a wonderful experience! The entire Barr family is spectacular.

N. Babb, Linganore High School


On this tour, I've made friends and memories that will last a lifetime. This has been a life changing experience for me.

L. Falcioni, Rising Sun High School


It was totally awesome! I had so much fun that I would always come back for more.

J. Stephen, North Harford High School


SOA is an experience of a lifetime! It makes you realize your whole potential as a human being. The close friendships you develop is the best of all. It has been a truly, uniquely, wondrous experience!

A. Sonntag, Centennial High School


“It might seem scary at first but making friends is the easiest thing and these friendships will last forever!”“All the staff was so willing to help and really became like Mothers and Fathers to me.  What everyone said in the beginning was true – we became a Big Family!”

C. Pecci, Boston College High School


“SOA was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and truthfully changed it forever! It truly is a combination of all my favorite things in the world:  traveling, music, great people and great food!” “Everyone on the trip was incredible and welcoming, I felt so accepted!”

V. Higgins, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School


“It gave me a sense of freedom and responsibility while learning to play in a group of experienced individuals!”

I. Atchison, Pennbroke High School


“It’s an amazing experience!  Everyone gets so close to one another; you really make true friends.  The hard work of rehearsals is actually fun and probably bonded us the most out of all.  It’s life changing!”

L. Gray, Chelmsford High School


The tour is amazing! When I first performed with the choir, I was amazed at how awesome the choir was! My district choir was 212 people and I thought that was amazing, but this choir was 95 people and it was so much better than the district choir! The staff is extremely friendly and everyone just becomes one giant family!

K. Fortin, Canton High School


The music was great, but more important was learning about the cultures of other people! I feel like I have become part of a huge family! The people on the tour were the nicest group of people that I had ever met!

K. Feldman, Winchester High School


This was a truly amazing trip for me, and I have bonded with so many people from across the country!

A. Goldberg, Moses Brown School

This was the most amazing experience of my life! The people, the places and the music all made everything wonderful! Thanks everyone!

M. Nowak, Longmeadow High School


I had such an incredible experience. I would recommend this tour to any dedicated music student.î

J.Cassoli, King Philip Reg High School


The staff was nothing but nice and helpful and responsive to questions and concerns (prior to the trip)! When I got to Carlisle, I was even more impressed, all of the kids were extremely outgoing and nice. The concerts were some of the most thrilling experiences in my life! I kept thinking of what I was doing, helping America (after 9/11) and appreciated it even more. The hotels and food were awesome! The directors were the most excellent ones I have ever had the pleasure of working with!

M. Shivo, Ayer High School

I want to thank the staff for everything they did, making the tour possible, running it, and all the work you've done toward making it such a wonderful experience! I cannot begin to tell you the profound effect this trip has had on me! It was undoubtedly the best experience of my life! The places that we went, the places we performed, the performances, the kids, the staff were all amazing. I don't know what you did to make the tour so wonderful, but it worked!

M. Tempesta, Winchester High School

I have had the time of my life! I have met so many amazing people and saw so many amazing things that I am going home as a completely different person than when I left! SOA has changed me very much for the better. By seeing other cultures, I learned a lot about myself and others. If I had the choice to do this all over, I wouldn't change a thing. There is not one part of this trip that I regret. I loved every minute of it!

J. Hoff, Longmeadow High School


Before arriving, I knew that this would be an experience that I would never have again and would be a milestone in my musical career. After the tour now I realize that there is so much more to the experience than just music and travel. I have made friends that exceeded all my expectations and that will not be forgotten. I have also been exposed to new cultures and ways of living. My eyes have been opened even wider to the beauty of music, friendships and the world as a whole!

R. Barr, Nantucket High School


This is truly an experience every talented musician should have! I can't begin to explain what an absolutely wonderful experience this was! It was honestly the best experience, both musically and personally, of my life! . . . We became a tight family almost instantly and retained that tight bond the entire tour. Thanks for giving me this opportunity!

A. Caron, Old Rochester Regional High School


Looking back, I can't believe I've done so much in such a short time! I'll never forget my experience at SOA and the friends I've made here will be in my heart forever. There is no better way to experience such a beautiful place as Europe than to make music with the people you love and share it with the rest of the world!

K. Sakalys, Westborough High School


Before I came, I thought it was an experience of a lifetime. But the trip was much more than I have ever imagined! I never dreamed I'd make so many friends who I still am in contact with! All the people were so friendly and great to be with. The staff and chaperones were great too. The opportunity and memories of seeing the world are priceless - and I got to do something I love, sing!

C. Dill, Monson High School


Words can't describe the sights we saw, the things we did and the emotions we felt. The only way to understand what I'm talking about is to actually go on the tour!

K. Andrews, Waltham High School


Definitely intense! The combination of a love of music, friendliness, and sincerity that pervades this group reached out and touched my heart from the minute I set foot in Carlisle, Pennsylvania!

A. Foote, Oberlin College


The past 25 days have been some of the best in my life! This is another family to me. There will always be a place in my heart for everyone on the '95 SOA tour.

J. Hansen, Southwick Tolland Reg. High School

MICHIGAN [To the Top]

SOA has been a life-changing experience for me! Thank you for taking me out of my own little world and showing me what we all could be if we just tried!

L. Kranz, Freeland High School


SOA is the most talented and passionate ensemble that I've ever sung with! The quality of the music and the enthusiasm of the participants has made the SOA tour the highlight of my life!

M. McClure, Troy High School


SOA is a definite 20 on a scale of 1-10! I would recommend this to anyone!

S. Siemens, L'Anse Creuse High School


The most surprising thing was how friendly the people were. If you're shy or uncomfortable around people, this group makes you forget all that and makes you part of it's family and loves you!

M. Weiss, Bay City Central High School


I truly feel that I have extended my family not only throughout the U.S., but Europe as well. I know for a fact that if I ever need a friend, I can always call on a SOA member and they will help. Thanks to SOA!

C. Erickson, Iron Mountain High School

MINNESOTA [To the Top]

“This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity – take advantage of it! Singing in those cathedrals were some of the most moving experiences of my life!”

M. Lundin, Northfield High School


This tour was incredible! I will take all of the experiences I had and everything I learned and use it in my everyday life and future. This tour quite simply gave me a new outlook on life, a positive one, and I will always be grateful and indebted to the SOA Staff. Thanks to all the staff and people who made this life-changing, thrilling experience happen!

S. Coughlan, Marshall School


I have made the most incredible friends here at SOA & I know I will never forget any of them! The traveling and performing were awesome, once in a life time experiences. But sharing it with these wonderful people was what made it truly unforgettable!

L. Engelstad, Bemidji High School

This tour was truly amazing! I'm so happy I came on tour because I not only met the coolest people ever, but I was surrounded by immense talent!

S. Mysore, Wayzata High School


This has been the best summer I've ever had! The memories I've made are absolutely unforgettable! I'm so glad I applied, because my life will never be the same and I'll never be the same person I was before the tour!

L. Magnuson, Fergus Falls High School

SOA is a great opportunity for young people to express their love of music, and to perform at a phenomenal level with strangers that become your best friends in the world!

S. Swanson, Kerkhoven Murdock & Sunburg High School


It was a great experience! It was a great opportunity to get together with talented musicians from across the USA and not only play music together, but make many long lasting friendships. I've learned many new things through this tour - ideas and thoughts I shall take with me throughout my life.

R. Parrow, Norman County West High School


I learned so much - about different cultures, people, food, buildings, singing techniques and even how to gain friends! Thanks for giving me this opportunity of a lifetime!

B. Cherry, Tartan High School


Almost every concert was a new "highlight" because our reception by the audiences was super. The whole tour was great!

E. Weyer, Staples High School


This tour brought me to places most Americans can only dream of! I will be able to tell my children stories upon stories about the greatest experience ever to happen to me!

T. Anderson, North Branch High School


THANK YOU! I had the time of my life! Every aspect of the tour was very impressive and professional!

M. Swanson, Kennedy Community High School


. . . Uplifting, eye-opening . . . there was never a dull moment! It felt so good to be with people who loved music not just because they knew they were good musicians, but because they felt something emotionally about the music they created.

T. Hall, Plainview High School


I think SOA is a wonderful experience that has changed my life. I was so lucky to be able to perform in front of so many people and I will always remember that. I have also met friends that I consider to be some of my best friends.

L. Fluck, Buffalo Lake-Hector High School


“The experience was awesome!  I was able to spend a month playing challenging music in places where I don’t understand the primary language!”

B. Pollard, Ocean Springs High School


I think this is the best tour ever because it is so well organized and everyone who plans it really cares about the students. This has really been the most amazing experience of my life! I've met some really great people! I was afraid that I would be homesick, but we've become such a family that I don't even want to go home! I still can't believe the fact that I've been blessed enough to have so many amazing experiences with so many amazing people! I know I'll treasure these memories forever! I've grown as both a person and a musician and I'm so grateful to everyone who made it happen!

R. Fairchild, Presbyterian Christian High School

I have had the time of my life! Never could I imagine getting on a plane for the first time and just having so much fun (in Europe)! I really enjoyed (the staff & chaperones) - they made this trip what it should be - the experience of a lifetime. Mr. Yoder . . . is the best director ever!

S. Palmer, Olive Branch High School

I had a great experience in Europe. It was definitely worth the money and hard work!

M. Rimes, Richland High School

MISSOURI [To the Top]

“SOA has been the greatest experience of my life! You make lifetime memories and friendships and you work with amazing directors.  The trip is worth every penny! “The hotels were great!”

K. Brown, Tarkio R-1 High School


This tour has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done in my life!

R. Hull, Belton High School


It is the best thing I have ever done.! It is worth the money and everything else! I have had so much fun! From the first day, I felt so welcomed by everyone and that meant a lot to me. We had an amazing choir director, the best I have ever had. The songs were filled such emotion.!

A. Green, Houston High School


I never thought I would be able to be a part of something this incredible!

K. Seidl, Thomas Jefferson Independent High School


I will never forget how wonderful these people, the members of the band and chorus, are as well the great hospitality given unto me by the bus leaders, drivers, staff, chaperones, and most of all by the local peoples!

E. Schweizer, De Smet Jesuit High School


This was a great way to experience Europe with individuals that also have a passion for music and an appreciation for the arts!

C. Painter, Missouri chaperone


Playing in the SOA band really opened my eyes to music so much more than playing in my band at home! I loved playing with others that share the same passion and love for music that I have! I have made the best friends I've ever had and wonderful memories that will last a lifetime! Thank you SOA!

D. Pelley, Fort Zumwalt South High School


The past 25 days have provided me with some of the best experiences in my entire life! It is a trip I would recommend to anyone!

M. Bunn, Eldon High School


The quality of the music and the standard of the conduct expected of these young musicians sets SOA apart from the rest!

B. Cartmill, chaperone, Nevada, Missouri


Like the brochure says: SOA is a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I'm glad I was able to be part of it. The staff and people were awesome and I will always have only the best memories from SOA. Not only has SOA helped me musically but I also believe it has helped me mentally and spiritually. Through SOA I have had the chance to work with the best director and meet more people then ever imagined.

R. Orabka, Lindbergh High School


I grew closer to the friends I made on this trip than many of my friends back home. I wouldn't trade this trip for the world!

J. Crady, Walnut Grove High School


I will never forget how nice the SOA staff was to me and all the great friends I've made! There were so many talented people on this tour and I had such a great time!

G. Hong, Trenton High School


You may look at the price and say"no way", but you discover at the end the price was just a way to life-time friends!

N. Guison, Willard High School


This tour was an experience that could never be topped! I got to meet people that have the same love for music as what I have!

T. Wilson, Seneca High School

I just want to thank the staff for the warmth and effort you put into this trip. You have given out a lot for this tour. After receiving so much, I wish we all learn and find ways to serve and to give, to make this world a better place to live.

J. Chen, Chaperone, Chesterfield


It was an experience I'll never forget! Many don't realize how much you gain from all this. Everyone needs to experience all this for themselves!

M. Magee, Knob Noster High School

MONTANA [To the Top]

I know every vacation will seem blah now after going on SOA. I'll never forget meeting all my life-long friends and having an opportunity to sing at some of the most beautiful places in Europe! I would definitely recommend SOA to any musician!

A. Mitchell, Custer County District High School

NEBRASKA [To the Top]

It's the best feeling in the world, knowing that you can affect so many people through music alone! I love knowing that we're a part of so many people's lives now, people all over the world.

J. Ritonya, Millard-South High School

I would recommend this trip to anyone who has a true love for music and a true desire to experience other cultures! This trip was well worth the money. We didn't pay for 25 days -we paid for a once in a life time experience, life long memories, and life long friends that we never could have had otherwise. This is a priceless experience!

N. Bennington, Norfolk High School


With the memories, friends, and college training, I have attained through SOA, I'd say I've had the time of my life!"

M. Reeves, Columbus High School

When I got the brochure, I remember thinking, "wow, that'd be awesome! But, nah, it'd never work". I was so surprised and pleased when my family and community encouraged me to try for it and backed me 100%! Once I decided to do this, it didn't seem quite as unattainable. This past month has been the best time of my entire life! I will carry this experience with me for the rest of my days. SOA rocks!

A. Hefner, Coleridge Community High School


It was so much more fun than I had expected! I mainly came on the tour for the travel experience, but I'm so glad I got to meet so many great people. It was so neat to meet people with the same interests and dreams as me.

R. Lund, Northwest High School

It's something so amazing, it's hard to put in words! I had the best time ever! The entire experience was amazing! I visited some of the most famous places in the world while doing something I love so much . . . music. I feel honored to be a part of this group. I'll never forget this experience!

S. Moore, Papillion LaVista High School


I feel that the tour was very well organized. I'm thankful that we had such nice places to stay in and a great airline. The chaperones really cared about the well-being of the kids. It was a great tour and I'd love to do it again!

S. Sveen, Lincoln East High School


The SOA tour experience was everything I had expected and so much more! It puts together the extraordinary elements of friends, Europe, and music to make a masterpiece of a combination. No one should miss this experience! Thank you so much, SOA, for the best memories I've ever had the honor to make!

A. Hoffman, Omaha Skutt High School


This tour has been the greatest experience of my life! I made many friends that will be close forever. The directors, staff and chaperones were great! Dr. Aussman was the best director that has worked with me.

J. Heft, Nebraska City High School


Many thanks to the SOA staff for a truly rewarding tour experience! I will always cherish the friends that I have made and remember the special moments we have shared. You will forever be a part of me, SOA!

A. Grant, University of Nebraska, Lincoln


I had more fun and made more friends on this tour than I have made during my lifetime! I have SOA to thank for the greatest experience I've ever had. I walk away changed for the better. I am now wiser, more outgoing, and an all-around better person and musician.

B. Greer, Omaha Central High School


This trip has been the most exciting and memorable time of my life. . . . it has exceeded every expectation I had! I knew this would be a wonderful musical and cultural experience, but I had no idea I would gain a new, very large family! We SOA members have a bond that can never be broken and that can never be explained.

M. Dvorak, Pope John XXIII High School


The places we went could not have been picked out more perfectly or planned any better. I have never been more excited about music in my whole life! I loved the music classes at Dickinson College. I am extremely grateful to the people who made it possible for me to go on a tour with SOA honor band and chorus.

R. Reuter, Burke High School


I came on this trip to mainly enlighten my music, but it became so much more than what I thought. Europe was amazing and I got to experience it with a wonderful group of people. And everything that has happened on this trip is going to go with me for the rest of my life!

C. Salansky, Nebraska City High School


This tour was really a life-changing experience! You cannot put a price on what a person gains from this experience! The staff was simply outstanding, friendly, helpful, fun and so on! I could go on forever about my experiences, but to sum it up - it was unbelievable!! I will certainly encourage others I know to give it a shot!

B. Bisson, Schuyler Central High School


To sum it up in 2 words - Incredibly Awesome!

J. Woody, Lexington High School


When I left Omaha to fly to Dickinson, I was terrified! I knew no one! But as time progressed, I had made some life-long friends. This is every musician's dream to perform in Europe and make music and happiness! I have to thank Dr. Aussman and Mr. Barr for a great tour!

G. Murphy, Norfolk Catholic High School


This tour was an excellent experience and I learned a lot about myself and my country.

K. Genthe, Syracuse High School


At our very first rehearsal for band, I was amazed that I had been accepted to such a talented honor band. The level of musical ability thoroughly impressed me! Touring Europe was extremely organized and seemed to run smoothly. SOA is a terrific organization that allowed me to do something I love to do and also see the world!

L. Anderson, Nebraska Christian High School

I remember being so nervous before the trip. (But) even after the first few days in Carlisle, I knew that I would be absolutely devastated when I left. The friends I have made here are so special to me!

M. Wilcox, Papillion-LaVista High School


This has been an unforgettable trip! The stories of our lives have all changed directions now. We have new, fresh feelings about the USA and the people that we have met that, at least, I will be changed for life! Thank you!

G. Ellington, Plattsmouth High School


I never intended to grow so close to so many people. The feeling of all these new found and ever lasting friendships is wonderful!

E. Beck, Clarks Public High School


From an almost 70 year old, my thanks goes to you for giving me this great opportunity! It made me really feel young again. You are to be commended for your super efforts for all these super kids!

L. Mitchell, Chaperone, Lincoln

Too many feelings to share; definitely the experience of a lifetime an one I'll never forget! (The staff members) were awesome and I've enjoyed Mr. Barr as a director over anyone else I've played under.

A. Miller, Elmwood-Murdock High School


Once again SOA was a STUPENDOUS experience! It never ceases to amaze me how the SOA Staff puts it all together! THANK YOU for another wonderful summer with memories that will last a lifetime!

K. Linn, Arnold Public High School


“SOA is a life changing experience – take advantage of the opportunity! This tour has been the best experience of my life by far.  Never before have I played with such great musicians!”

D. Ringey, Nashua High School South


The music was a lot of fun; challenging, but it showed what we really could do. These students are different from every ordinary teenage/young adult; they have such character, heart, and passion for music. Who would have thought a little, small town Bass Clarinet player from New Hampshire would get this chance? Thank you so much!

A. Comeau, White Mountain Regional High School

You can't put a price on the things you learn, the culture you absorb, and the friends you make!

A. Coppola, Gilford High School


The feeling of having the audiences so pleased with us was great! Their smiles made me smile like no other! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I can't say enough about it! I'll be back!

K. Holt, Kingswood Regional High School


I was very amazed at the crowd reaction to the music! It really helped make me appreciate the experience more! This was the best experience of my life! Don't change a thing! It was great!

H. Girard, Pembroke Academy


I was excited about coming on the tour, but that was nothing compared to what I felt when I got there! In this past month, I have experienced more than I have experienced in my whole life!

J. Chinn, Pembroke Academy

I think this was the single greatest event of my life - It broadened my mind in music, cultures, and friendship. This trip, was definitely worth the sacrifice. The staff members were very courteous and helpful and I enjoyed performing with such a talented group as this one. I've improved tremendously and I've found a new love for music! The friends I've met on this trip will be my friends forever! Thanks!

J. Joslin, Littleton High School


SOA is a once in a lifetime experience that nobody should pass up!

T. Letellier, Hollis Brookline High School


. . . one of the most positive, memorable experiences of my life! I know that the friends I made, and the memories I have will last forever. Thanks SOA!

D. Perry, Kennett High School


I've learned to be more independent. I think the trip was very well planned and we got to see a lot. I loved the concert locations! I will never forget what I learned and experienced on this trip - that people making music together and sharing their feelings together is far more important than any tourist attraction that I saw on this trip. Thanks!

N. Reiner, Hollis Area High School


The SOA tour has definitely been the best experience of my life! Every single day was filled with concerts, sightseeing, cruises, tours, shopping and other events which allowed me to experience different cultures and people. I really enjoyed this trip and am now proud to say that I'm an SOA Alumnus. The friends, concerts, and exciting memories will stay with me forever!

J. Mroczko, White Mountain Reg. High School

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updated 11-5-13