New Jersey to Pennsylvania Page of Testimonials

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NEVADA [To the Top]

The crowds were so excited to hear us perform, and made us feel very welcome in Europe, and loved to hear us perform! Perhaps the greatest feeling in the world, is putting a smile in the hearts of people everywhere, and that alone makes the trip worth it. . . .I have never performed with a more talented group or been with nicer people!

C. Stover, Durango High School

Thank you for this once in a lifetime chance to broaden my horizons!

M. Talcott, Pershing High School


The trip was a blast! The amount of musical ability on this tour was amazing! Overall, this was a great trip and I'm really hoping I have an opportunity to return on tour next year.

After his second trip, he writes: This tour was, for the second time, the most musically talented and memorable trip of my life! SOA has really helped me grow musically and given me an even deeper passion for music!

K. Bailey, Eldorado High School


At first I was nervous because I didn't know anyone and I thought it would be hard to make friends. It wasn't! I didn't believe the Europeans would clap for an encore like that until it actually happened!

A. Van Woert, Churchill County High School


I've really enjoyed traveling and seeing other places than the U.S. It's a great combination of sights and musical experiences - performing makes it more special than any other Europe trip!

R. Townsley, Carson High School


It gave me a sense of direction and that there is love and friendship all over the world.

T. Salazar, Bonanza High School


The most beneficial, loving, and learning experience I've ever had!

S. Dahl, Chaparral High School


It was the beginning of many life-time friendships, and a whole new outlook on life!

E. Denning, Pahrump Valley High School

NEW JERSEY [To the Top]

“The first day I arrived, I never felt as welcome with any group as I did with SOA!”

C. Harris, Overbrook Senior High School


This trip has definitely been one of the greatest things I've ever done! At first, I was nervous and scared, wondering who I would meet, if anyone would like me, would I really get to know the music in time. All those fears left as soon as I got to Elizabethtown. Everyone, staff and the other music members were so amazing in greeting me with open arms! I don't know anyone else who could know our name before we've ever seen one another!

B. Powell, Kinnelon High School


I am in awe of my Sound of America experience! I felt as if I were dreaming because before this tour, never in a million years would I picture myself performing in all these countries with all these other incredible musicians."

N. Chin-Lyn, Mahwah High School


Thank you to all the staff for the year round hard work that you do to prepare us for this and all the behind-the-scenes work that we can't even begin to imagine you do. It was the experience of a lifetime!

A. Pattabiraman, Princeton University

It was a life-changing, eye-opening opportunity and I am extremely grateful for having the chance to do this! Thank you for providing me with that chance!

H. Le, Jackson Memorial High School

The trip ran so smoothly! I made lots of new friends and I get to take back amazing stories that I know no one else will have.

L. Berchtold, Absegami High School


Europe was incredible! This trip has changed my view on the world's culture!

R. Feldcamp, Shawnee High School

When we were told that people in Europe really look forward to our concerts, I thought those were just words of encouragement. But they were true, and it was exciting and awesome to play in such crowded halls!

S. Tsai, J.P. Stevens High School


This tour is by far the best experience I have ever had in my life! I absolutely loved the quality of our music and our music groups!

R. Karsner, Eastern Regional High School


The past 25 days have once again shocked and amazed me! The ability to gather talented students from all over the country, most of whom you have never met, and put them together to make music and life-long friendships is incredible! Seeing the faces of so many different cultures and watching their positive reaction to our music makes you realize that music is the universal language and can change the world in a positive light! Thank you for everything you have all done to make this trip so exciting and beyond memorable!

T. Meola, Mount Olive High School

It was such an honor to play with such an elite group of musicians and I cannot even begin to explain the feeling you get inside when the concert hall full of people gives you a standing ovation! Thanks SOA for an experience I will never forget!

D. Smith, Voorhees High School

My expectations for the SOA European Tour were high as I was fully aware of the caliber of the directors and my fellow performers. Even so, my expectations were superseded! I'm amazed at the level of connections that I have developed in this short space of time!

S. Nelson, College of New Jersey


This trip for me was a dream come true! I was amazed by the staff and their loving and caring attitudes! I enjoyed all of the talents from all of the kids and the welcoming spirit that I felt as soon as I got to Dickinson College. This was the best experience of my life! I am eternally grateful to the SOA staff! Thank you for letting me be apart of this fantastic tour!

A. Neube, Cumberland Christian School

This trip has changed my life! I cannot thank Mr. Barr, Dr. Ausmann, or any of the chaperones enough for making this trip a life changing event! Having the opportunity to sing in the cathedrals and halls we did has shown me just how much music means to me and how much of an influence it has on my life!

S. Philpott, Mount Olive High School


What a privilege to travel with top-notch students! My national pride swelled many times! A tear was often in my eye as "Stars & Stripes" was unfurled for our gracious, generous and gregarious hosts and audiences!

S. Kohler, NJ Chaperone & Sound Technician

The tour met every expectation and even exceeded everything I imagined Europe to be! The talent we shared was incredible and I am glad I was exposed to so many new things culturally, socially, and musically. It was so great meeting other kids from all over the US and making close friends. It was truly a life-changing experience, and I will carry the memories forever.

A. Chao, Mahwah High School

SOA provides the opportunity to enjoy a stimulating environment with interesting people united by a common interest and the will to succeed!

J. Schwartz, The Montclair Kimberley Academy


This was definitely more than I expected! I loved the musical experiences! It was so overwhelming to perform to such exciting audiences! It was amazing!

L. Varsaci, Lenape High School


As I entered Dickinson College I was skeptical of this trip in general - meeting new people, going overseas, and everything that was being told to me. The trip turned out to be a life-altering experience for me! Words cannot even begin to describe how much this trip and everyone on it means to me after these three weeks!

T. Meola, Mt. Olive High School


The SOA tour was the most incredible experience I've had in my life! The staff and chaperones are really wonderful people and I've made special friendships that I hope will last a lifetime. Performing for the European audiences was just amazing - they appreciate us so much! I loved every minute of the tour and I know I'm going to have to come back!

W. Peterson, Cedar Grove High School


This summer's SOA Tour provided me with many excellent experiences, musically, socially and culturally. I enjoyed playing in an ensemble with so much musical talent! I enjoyed the reactions of audiences made up of people other than parents!

A. Cadwalader, Hackettstown High School


On this tour I met friends that I love just as much as my own family! This trip was the thrill of my entire life!

D. Wions, Hillsborough High School


At Dickinson college, I didn't believe the bond that forms between you and your comrades. Now, 22 days later, I have another family to call my own.

A. Reinhart, Toms River North High School

I've never become such close friends with so many people in so short a time. This tour has changed my whole outlook on life and friendships and I am eternally grateful that I could experience it!

J. Reese, Salem High School


I thought that this trip was unbelievable and it helped me become more culturally diverse. I met a lot of people from all over and . . . they were like me! Thank you SOA for this wonderful experience!

R. Snediker, East Brunswick High School


NEW MEXICO [To the Top]

From a recnet news release indicating this student being cast in the San Francisco Lyric Opera in their upcoming production of Giuseppe Verdi's AIDA being held at Cowell Theater in Fort Mason ". . . He was later invited and toured Europe with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus during the summer of 1993. "It was the single greatest experience of my life," Gonzales stated. "I would not be where I am today if Sound of America had not shown me the world."

A. Ogas (Gonzales), Silver High School


Wow! I don't think that one can sum up all the feelings felt! I learned so much and grew so much! Thank you for choosing me!

C. Lukow, Kirtland Central High School


This has turned out to be the most rewarding and incredible experiences of my life! I made so many new, to be life-long friends. I have definitely grown musically and I do owe most of it to Mr. Yoder and Mr. Barr - they are two of the most amazing directors that I have ever worked with! Being able to be a part of something so spectacular as this and to be with so many people who love to perform as much as I do was spectacular! It has definitely changed my life so much, I think that it made me a better person in all aspects. I loved every minute of this tour and I think that anyone who has the chance to do this should most definitely take up this offer! This was amazing!

K. Villanueva, Cibola High School

It was humbling to sing in a choir with such talent! I was slightly concerned the trip would be corny, but it wasn't. I had a blast! It truly is an experience of a lifetime. I would heartily recommend it to everyone and anyone.

S. LaVigne, Manzano High School

I loved it! I have never experienced anything like it! I have never seen so many people get excited about a concert - even children were excited! It will be something I will never forget!

A. Sevachko, Oñate High School


Never in my life could I have imagined such a tour. . . .there just aren't words to describe an SOA experience! I loved it!

L. Thomas, Hobbs High School


Touring with SOA has broadened my musical abilities. Friends, Europe, and a WONDERFUL staff! - who could ask for anything more! You are all the best! Thank you!

D. Lucero, Jr., Laguana-Acoma High School


. . . I wish everyone in the world could share this type of experience once in their life!

J. Winfield, Gallup High School


This has been the most exciting experience of my life so far! I enjoyed meeting new people and having a chance to play in a band that was full of talented musicians.

T. Soleyn, Valley High School


We had a fantastic performing group! The tour guides, bus drivers and all of the staff were of the highest caliber!

B. McGehee, Los Alamos High School


It was the greatest thing that's ever happened to me! It has been great because I've learned a lot geographically and meeting new and different people has helped me look at different sides of things.

A. Rinker, Clayton High School


SOA has shown me a lot about myself and about others. I learned to be more responsible and flexible. I also learned how wonderful true friends can be. Thank you, SOA, for this totally awesome experience!

B. Smith, Manzano High School


SOA was an experience of a lifetime! I would recommend it to everyone. I can't wait to share everything that I learned. I'll never forget all the memories, the performances, the people, directors and the entire 23 days of life-changing experiences!

A. Ogas, Western New Mexico University


SOA is really the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me! I came to Dickinson College not knowing anybody and went home with everlasting friendships from every state. I am glad I came on the SOA tour!

M. Malette, Mayfield High School


NEW YORK [To the Top]

Keith A. Rubino: I was in love with this tour from the start. The organization in itself was astounding! It seems as though the whole, "Once in a lifetime," thing is always said, but it is never truer than when I look back on this trip.

Seeing all the places and experiencing Europe at such an early age is a chance so many would die for and what better way to do it than by going and singing as well? I encourage anyone with a passion for music to perform with the Sound of America. Friends forever, a rewarding experience of performing in front of european crowds, memories you can not get just by seeing pictures but only by BEING there, foreign food, and of course, a sense of overwhelming accomplishment.

The Sound of America changed my life for the better! I urge you to let it change yours as well!

K Rubino, Herkimer High School


I left the tour with more than I could have ever expected! I got everything I had wanted out of the trip plus so much more! I got to explore and travel the world while making music. The chorus and band were both amazing! I still remember the first time the chorus sang at Elizabethtown. I was astonished by the quality of the sound! The staff was incredible and I'm truly grateful for all your hard work.

The most important thing I got out of this was how much I've grown personally. The people are amazing musicians and in so many other ways. I was shocked to learn how many kids were applying to Ivy Leagues and scored next to perfect on their SAT/ACT. The students on this trip are leaders in their community and are model students.

J. Mellace, Rome Free Academy


From the moment I set foot in Elizabethtown College, I felt welcomed and comfortable! This tour has been a life-changing experience for me in so many ways. I will be return home with a different view of the world, newly developed musicianship, and friendships and memories that I am sure will last a lifetime."

J. Burdick, Fox Lane High School


It's been a blast! If anyone is afraid of feeling homesick they don't have to worry about that on this tour. The staff all helps you feel that warmth of a family so you don't miss home too much. Every single one of the staff knew how to have fun and make us all laugh. Even on stage we were still having fun, but in an appropriate manner. It made the tour a lot more enjoyable and the concerts better because when we had fun and we had energy. The tour has opened my eyes to new cultures and people and experiences through cultures I don't just mean from Europe, I also mean the culture each SOA participant brings when they come from wherever they do in the U.S.

J. May, Starpoint Central High School


This tour is absolutely unforgettable and worth every penny! Not only is it the most talented and outstanding group of perform with, but the people are some of the best and kindest I've met!

E. Cooper, Minisink Valley High School


Without a doubt, this tour has been the greatest experience of my life! Everyone on the staff is incredibly nice, and the people on the tour are the best I've ever met! I wish we could tour and perform together forever.

S. Schoenberg, Baldwin High School


This has been the best, most rewarding experience in my life! I would go again in a heartbeat if I had the chance! There can't possibly be anything better than SOA! I met the best friends and made so many memories that I could never forget. This trip has exceeded my expectations tremendously and I've loved every second of it!

C. Budzinski, Carmel High School


At first I missed my family and friends so much, but over the course of the trip I became so close with everyone on this tour - now I can't imagine leaving them! The staff was so helpful and so knowledgeable. I am truly changed from this trip and I cannot thank the entire staff enough for running such a wonderful trip! The friends I have made here are irreplaceable and I will never forget this summer!

M. Angelicola, Rome Free Academy


Thanks you for finally showing me what real music sounds like!

C. Pittman, Charles D'Amico High School


Just like we were told, we would become one big family and I was definitely not expecting it to be this close of a family!

H. Bell, Rome Free Academy


I really was not expecting to come here and make such close friends, but I made a lot! I couldn't have asked for a more fun trip! I matured a lot!

R. Nappi, Carmel High School


The experiences I encountered are priceless, I've never had so much fun in my entire life! I loved everything! The places we performed were all unique and great experiences. Thanks for giving me these awesome unforgettable memories!

S. Riddick, Middletown High School


Whenever you do something for the first time you always have some questions, but the Sound of America tour has been a blast and I will cherish the experience friendships that I have made!

M. Zaiger, LaGuardia High School of Music & Art


SOA has given me an experience that far out weighs the initial cost. A very heart-felt thanks goes to SOA! Thank you for the experience of a lifetime!

D. Clancy, Northeastern Clinton Central School

Thank you for offering such a quality opportunity for these kids! My nephew had nothing but good things to say about your staff, the kids, the itinerary, the experiences. He said it was so great to be part of a group of people who care so much about the music! Thanks again, from the bottom of our hearts, to you and to Sound of America!

E. Cole, aunt of a participant

This trip has changed my life so much for the better, it almost can't be put into words! It has been a truly incredible experience that brought out the best in me, and I had the time of my life!

K. Budzinski, Carmel High School

After spending the last 25 days with this outstanding group, I feel that we have all grown as musicians as well as people. Thanks to SOA, I have had the most memorable summer in my entire life, and I hope to come back next year!

C. Roberts, Whitesboro Central High School


My daughter had a great time on the trip! You certainly are a top-notch organization!

K. Mitton, mother of participant


This group helped me expand my singing career! I was able to experience hard work and dedication through what I love to do. I got the chance to tour Europe with my new best friends! This is definitely a trip I will always remember!

E. DeMenocal, School of The Holy Child


I have learned more than I thought possible, and I realized to a far greater extent my relation to the world!

J. Hopkins, Andes Central School


The past 25 days have been the most amazing, life-changing, intense and special days of my life! I saw and experienced more incredible places than I could have imagined! The music was the most moving, wonderful music I've ever had the honor of singing!

K. Schwarz, F D Roosevelt High School


This tour started out great and got better the entire time! I was so thrilled to be part of this group and now that it is finished, I am honored to have experienced this with so many wonderful people! Never once did I feel unsafe or frightened. Each time we performed I felt like I grew as a musician but also our ensemble grew. I can't say enough good things about this trip!

L. O'Neil, Sauquoit Valley Central High School


I am amazed at how organized and caring the staff was! I am also amazed at the great hotels and concert locations that we performed in, the skills of our bus drivers and the beautiful scenic routes that we were able to take on these travels. I have grown to be considerate, patient and more social and accepting and sensitive to others.

L. King, Queensbury High School

I am so thrilled that I decided to go on the tour! I cannot imagine missing all the of the experiences I had! Watching the chorus and band evolve from many individuals into a single performing unit was fantastic! It is wonderful to listen to such talented young people! I greatly enjoyed watching the reactions of the audience in each country. I will wholeheartedly recommend the tour to anyone! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it!

S. Stephens, chaperone from Brewster, NY


The SOA Tour was incredible! I know that it has helped me grow as a musician and a person. I want to thank you for giving me this privileged opportunity to see the world and perform with a group that includes some of the best in America!

R. Indrick, LaFayette High School

It's hard to verbalize the awesomeness of such an event as touring Europe! It is undoubtedly a life changing experience. This trip is incredible, well planned, well though out, and well appreciated. Thank you for making such a significant impact on my life!

J. Oxford, Cortland High School


I hope that all teenagers and students could be blessed with a wonderful trip like this! If only I could do this every year! Then I would be eternally happy!

N. Maurer, FD Roosevelt High School


The past 25 days have been so incredible, I never thought I would ever come to Europe and even with such a prestigious group! This has been by far the best summer of my life!

J. Ammann, Cazenovia Central High School

I was amazed with how everyone went from being complete strangers, to being best friends! It was such an amazing tour! The music was great, the people were great, everything was perfect! Thank you, SOA, for bringing me many wonderful memories!

B. Knabl, Sachem High School

I had the best time in the world! Every little thing has been so much fun and I've made such good friends! The experience and the memories have made this tour mean so much to me!

K. Curcio, Franklin D. Roosevelt-Hyde Park High School

Of course, I had high expectations for this tour but it didn't hit me until I actually experienced it and I honestly believe it was an outstanding tour that has changed me in a very positive way. I'm extremely thrilled I was able to be a part of such a talented tour group. I met dear friends for life and I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in musical performance. I had the absolute time of my life!

S. Provenzano. Carmel High School

The SOA tour was one of the best experiences that has ever happened to me! Singing is what I love and I was around people who loved it just as much as I do.

A. Houser, Wayne Central High School


Most festivals, all county, regionals, divisionals, states . . . etc. meet only for a few days. To perform with a group of such high caliber musicians for a month was a real treat for me! Thank you once again for an unforgettable experience!

R. Grant, Miller Place High School


Traveling with SOA was the best thing I have ever done! I learned a lot about other cultures and also America by meeting the other tour members. It was so much fun playing for such enthusiastic audiences and being with people who love music! It was an experience I will never forget and I can't thank SOA enough!

B. Williams, Remsen High School


I think that this trip was one of the best experiences of my life! The group has so much talent! . . . I used to think area all-state was great, but this group is 100 times better! I have learned so much on this trip and I will remember it for the rest of my life!

J. Donisan, Gilboa-Conesville Central School


I felt very safe and comfortable with the staff, - their guidance was incredible! I can easily say that this is one of the most fun and educational experiences I will ever have!

T. Dillon, Rome Free Academy

I think this whole experience made me a better person, preparing me for the maturity that comes with college this fall. It's so nice to have a whole group of people come together who love to sing and can do it well. We all worked toward a goal and that brings outstanding results! I feel so lucky to have been a part of the history of this group!

S. Solomon, LeRoy High School

This tour was one of the most fun experiences of my life! I never would have guessed that the people here would be so great and the concerts so fun! Dr. Ausmann was very inspirational as a director and made a great impact on my outlook on music and attitude. I feel honored to have an opportunity available to me like this.

M. Brown, Greene Central School

I am so amazed at the fact that music, and general love of performing can bring 200+ people together! I know that the friends that I've made at SOA will always be a part of my life! Thank you for making it possible!

L. Marchione, Valley Stream High School


I still can't believe that I actually toured Europe and performed my talent in some of the most prestigious concert halls in Europe! The friendships I have made and the memories of the trip will forever remain close to my heart!

K. Rico, Rome Free Academy

I learned a lot about what actually performing music, not just playing it is. I truly feel SOA made me a better musician. This trip was amazing! It was so great to experience all those wonderful cities with a new set of friends of who actually took the time to get to know you. Thanks for all the memories, SOA!

J. Vrooman, Alexandria High School


It was just such an incredible experience! It was just so amazing to perform and bond with such incredibly gifted musicians.

T. Hui, Edward R. Murrow High School


This tour was the best thing I have ever done in my life! I never thought I would grow so close to a bunch of people. The friendships I've made are priceless! No words can tell how I feel.

M. Bojanowski, West Seneca High School


This has been one of the most memorable and educational experiences of my life! The concerts, cathedrals and the friends will never be forgotten!

C. Moon, Corning-Painted Post High School


Through seeing other places and cultures, I have learned to appreciate my life and culture. The tour has also helped me to grow in different ways. I feel my sense of responsibility and caring have grown!

R. Hartman, Tri-Valley High School


This experience has created memories for me that will last for the rest of my life! SOA truly became my family this month, and I've made friendships that no distance can break, even if we're across the country. I loved it and it was the best decision I've made in my life!

J. Kish, Massena High School


I never imagined meeting so many friends and life long pals. The chaperones and all the adults were pleasant to work with and I would like to thank everyone on the SOA Staff for all that they did to make this trip very successful.

D. Collins, Hilton High School


The SOA experience has been spectacular! From the beginning I thought the entire trip was a hoax, but applied (thank goodness!). SOA has not only improved my musicianship skills, but also enlightened me on aspects of the human character. I have grown. Thank you.

M. McCarville, Clarkstown High School


Absolutely perfect and wonderful! I've never been involved with so much pride and togetherness!

J. Pulver, North Rose-Wolcott High School


I've made tons of great new friends and I've learned a lot about music, the world, and me. Thank you for everything!

K. Nawoj, Rome Free Academy


This trip has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. I don't think I will ever find anything that could top this experience I've just had. Thank you for all the fun!

H. Turner, West Valley Central High School


The experience of performing was more incredible than words could ever describe!

R. Claxton, Mexico High School


One word - wow! I can't believe I've done so much, played so much, and seen so much in 25 days. I've made lasting friendships and experienced so many incredible things - I will never forget this trip. The work at Dickinson was very intensive - but it was all worth it to see European audiences enjoy us so much. I've learned so much and become part of a big family. I would recommend this to anyone and will miss seeing everyone here. Thanks for all the memories.

T. Miller, Livonia Central High School


What a great time! I grew so much and realized what friends that are family means for real. I became much more open-minded to world cultures and different cultures in our own country. Last, I came to respect other countries and honor the United States more.

N. Kunz, Owego Free Academy


SOA was easily the most important and memorable experience of my life so far. Not only was Europe itself amazing, but I have made some of the best friends that I will probably ever have. The experience means more to me than anything possibly could and I would not trade it for anything!

P. Stamos, Union Endicott High School


This experience has definitely changed my life! I've met some of the greatest people in the world! The concert experiences were unforgettable! I'll be telling all these stories to my grandchildren!

T. Conner, Rocky Point High School


At first, I was skeptical . . . however, I soon made great friends and had the time of my life! I am so glad I had the chance to do this!

S. Sussman, Lynbrook High School


I'm now part of one of America's biggest and honored groups, second only to veterans, in my book. We laughed, worked together, performed well, loved and so much more at the same time! EVERYONE contributed. I think we gave the Europeans a view of America they'll never forget and that we gave ourselves the same.

R. Yager, Paul V. Moore High School


It was the most exciting, fun-filled, experience of my entire life! The friendships you make are life-long and life-changing!

F. Kaine, Massena Central High School


I would highly suggest this group for anyone who wants to be involved with the best musical group that tours Europe from America!

J. McCreary, Watertown High School


The sounds that we produced were amazing, not to mention the places we made those sounds! This tour was also a major learning experience. I have a slight understanding of other cultures, foods, etc. not only from Europe but also from various places around the US. This tour meant a lot to me and I'll never forget it or anyone!

A. Larmon, Roundout Valley High School

This was one of the greatest experiences in my life! It seems like nothing could ever top it! I learned so much and met so many great people!

D. Reilly, Clarkstown High School


This trip has meant the world to me, and I would do it again a hundred times if I could! I am thankful that I was a member of the SOA. It has been the experience of a lifetime! Thanks for inviting me to participate in such a wonderful experience!

A. Molden, Carmel High School



It's so wonderful to be able to come to Europe as an American Ambassador and experience the culture of Europe while also touching people through music! Don't change the faculty, they're amazing!

E. Seymour, Arendell Parrott Academy


Your ability to match roommates is uncanny! On SOA, you could just tell people were roommates because they were so similar. It was nice to receive the respect and trust of adults.

J. Luttrell,Charlotte Catholic High School


The past 25 days were some of the best memories I well ever have! I made tons of friends and had lots of fun. Being able to perform with this group has also made me a better musician. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

D. Dudley, South Columbus High School

This has definitely been one of the most incredible experiences of my life! It was wonderful meeting new people and traveling to new places while exercising my passion for singing! It was extremely well organized and planned! I felt we well taken care of as well. This was amazing! Thank ya so much for providing America's youth with this wonderful opportunity!

A. Ashworth, Wilkes Central High School

I thought the tour was extremely well-organized. I enjoyed seeing Europe, meeting other people and experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you for providing it for high-school kids around the country!

B. Yarns, Brevard High School

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip! I truly had the opportunity to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and I'm glad I took it! I enjoyed meeting people and making lifelong friends. Thanks for an excellent, wonderful time!

B. Davis, Andrews High School

All in all I was very pleased to be able to share the experience with the Barrs & their terrific staff. I hope they consider this wonderful program another 25 years!

C. Foreman, chaperone from Kitty Hawk, NC

This trip changed my life in so many ways! I saw places that I had only seen in my dreams and met people that will stay life-long friends. Sometimes I look back at pictures and all the fun I had and I get a little misty. I absolutely recommend this trip to everyone who has the passion!

C. Byrum, Triton High School


I had the time of my life this summer, between singing, seeing the sights of Europe, and making the best of friends in only a month, I wouldn't trade this summer for anything in the world!

B. Eisenberg, Charlotte Country Day School


This trip has given me so much including new experiences, musical education, and friendships that there is no reason why I wouldn't think about going again. It was definitely one of the highlights of my life and nothing could replace the experiences I had!

after her second trip, she wrote:

In the two years I've participated in this tour, my life has changed dramatically. The opportunities given to me by this tour are endless and I will always be thankful to have had the chance to say I was a pariticpant in this group of smart, energetic and caring people!

S. Anderson, Seventy-First High School


This was the most amazing trip of my life - also just one of the best experiences of my life! The tour has fulfilled all of my expectations and surpassed them by light years!

S. Michener, Hoggard High School


Not only did I mature musically, I also matured mentally and emotionally. I am extremely proud to be able to go home and tell everyone that I was an SOA participant. I especially thank Mr. Barr for doing such a great job in leading SOA '97 and for helping me expand my musical horizons. God Bless.

J. Trumbo, Tuscola High School


It was the greatest experience of my life to see Europe and perform at the same time!

N. Simcoe, John T. Hoggard High School


I've waited almost two years to go on this tour. The staff, the friends I've made, and the experience I've gained was well worth the wait. Thanks for making this summer the most unforgettable of my life!

M. Ruch, Brevard College


There is nothing like performing beautiful music with people you love and who love music as well. It has been a beautiful experience seeing the names from the list becomes faces and then personalities, individuals and friends.

B. Corson, Pisgah High School


It was one of the greatest experiences of my life! I made many new friends that I know I will keep forever. I started out a little skeptical about the trip, but now I know that it was all worth it! I got to see a world I have never known and share the experience with people I have come to love.

J. Rochester, Pisgah High School

It is always a scary but exciting experience to become a part of a group so large, especially when you are the only representative of your state. However, there are few things I enjoy more than travel and music, and having a purpose - being an "ambassador" of your country makes the trip that much more worthwhile. I can't begin to describe the wonderful and lasting friends I have made, and I can safely say that SOA has been THE best experience of my life!

L. Schwab, Charlotte Country Day School


This has undoubtedly been the best experience of my life so far! The other tour members and the faculty were wonderful friends and they always will be. Thank you for selecting me for this tour!

G. Miller, South Meck High School


Awesome! The length of the trip was perfect and I couldn't have asked for better quality people on this tour. I had the time of my life and I hope to come back again. I love y'all!

J. Lichtenwalner, John Holmes High School


My sister kept telling me how great of a tour this was but now that I experienced this tour, I see why she liked it so much! I had the best time of my life in these past 3 weeks!

M. Krile, Midway Public School


Thank you for your dedication to a wonderful tour and organization!

J. Krile, North Dakota Chaperone


I had a great time these past 25 days! This trip was a great way to spend the transitional period between high school and college. Thanks for the great time!

L. Willoughby, Hettinger High School

Before coming on the tour, I didn't know what to expect. I read that many previous members had the time of their lives, but I couldn't understand the feeling. I now understand! The friendships, magical places, and beautiful music get together to form a feeling that I cannot put into words! The only word that comes to mind is LOVE. Thank you for giving me the chance to experience that wonderful and unbelievable feeling!

K. Streyle, Leeds High School


The SOA was an excellent experience! I enjoyed being able to see much of Europe while doing something I love, playing in band. It was definitely the trip of a lifetime!

J. Stern, Grenora High School


This trip helped me realize how close people can get in such short times. I would recommend it to others that they check into SOA for a great experience like the one I had.

M. Helle, Edmore High School


It is a chance of a lifetime to tour with such a talented group and the musical concerts were so great and you make so many friends of a lifetime. The staff is really nice - they weren't too strict or too easygoing. The staff was great. I would encourage anyone to at least try out because if they don't try they'll never know if they could have made it or not, and it is a very memorable experience of a lifetime.

T. Jordan, Mott Lincoln High School


... I am so glad I went on this trip. It was unbelievable! I will never forget the lifelong friends I have made or the magical places we visited and performed in!

B. Gifford, DeLacs-Burlington High School


I feel that this tour, was not only musical, but an educational, and spiritual growing point in my life. I never realized how 220 people can form such a close family and friendships along with the staff! I personally feel that this is a once in a lifetime chance! I guess I knew that I wanted to live a dream of a lifetime and travel across the sea. So I did! I raised over 1/2 of the expenses in 2 weeks! If I can do it in a small community - anyone can! Thank you SOA for the wonderful memories and effort you put into this organization!

E. Banish, Sargent Central High School


More than anything, I will remember the SOA staff and members and how much they all cared and helped each other. The staff went beyond the distance when approached with a problem of a member. Thank you! The tour has been a wonderful and memorable experience for me. I loved the 1997 SOA Concert Tour!

J. Weigand, Larimore High School

OHIO [To the Top]

It's a really great experience! You'll learn a lot about yourself, other people, and the world. It's fun playing for all the different crowds and watching everyone's reactions to the music. The whole staff was very nice and very helpful. Everything was very well organized and under control. It's definitely the best way to see Europe and make a ton of great friends!

L. Fink, Liberty High School


It's been great! You've played a part in changing my life! I feel more mature, more accomplished, more tuned into my goals.

E. Anderson, McComb High School


Excellent tour, wonderful experiences with very talented kids!

G. Capaldo, Ohio Chaperone


This trip is truly overwhelming in the fact that it exposes you to so many cultures, in so little time! This trip has, forevermore, changed my LIFE!"

A. Heath, Parkway High School

This was truly a wonderful experience! Music is the international language and I am happy to have shared that to other people around the world while representing America with so many other talented students! I will remember this for a lifetime!

C. Luginbuhl, Lima Bath High School


Wow! It was inspiring to be surrounded by such talented musicians! I loved being with people who made music important in their lives. The trip was amazing! I learned so much about people and relationships along with area of the United States and areas of the world. The whole thing seemed like a dream. Thank you for the fund-raising suggestions!

K. Schwartz, Cambridge High School

In the last 25 days, I have had the time of my life! I have done things and had experiences I'd never thought I would before! It was great touring Europe and getting to perform in amazing places in front of an appreciative audience. The most significant part of this trip was making new friends and forming a family.

J. Muetzel, William Mason High School


I really enjoyed the tour! I was really nervous to come because I am the first student in my school to ever do anything like this and felt honored when I received the invitation.(Our bus leader always made sure that everyone was okay and knew exactly what to do and what to expect. I've never enjoyed myself this much! I've played in many honor bands and community bands, but none as exciting as this! I would recommend this trip to anyone who I feel would benefit and be a team player. This is the most rewarding experienced I've ever had! This will be something that I will talk about for the rest of my life!

K. Graham, Lima Sr. High School


I was overwhelmed by the audiences and their enthusiasm, and the chaperones and directors were understanding, patient, and fun to be around. Everyone was very friendly!

K. Bowersox, John Glenn High School


It's been such an incredible experience! It was a tremendous honor performing with such talented students and directors!

I. Corbin, Eastwood High School


It was amazing to perform for audiences who were so appreciative of music (and they weren't our parents!) The SOA tour has changed my life! Thanks for allowing me to be a part of it!

S. Boan, Beallsville High School

(At first) I was so nervous about this experience. Those feelings, however, disappeared the first minute I was on campus. The staff, chaperones, and students traveling with this group are by far the most outstanding group of people I have ever worked with! The organization and quality of the this tour never ceased to amaze me! Performing with such an honorable group has changed my personality and confidence level SO much and for that I thank you! I would highly recommend this tour to anyone!

M. Hughes, Licking Valley High School

I felt very honored to perform with such a large group of talented young adults! It was a great experience and I'd definitely do it again!

A. McCabe, Wellston High School

I enjoyed the tour very much. The reactions of the people we performed for were wonderful. Playing also helped me become a better musician. I'll never forget the friends and experiences of the SOA tour! It was an honor to be part of the tour!

J. Baum, Western Reserve High School


It has been the best 25 days of my life! I've grown and experienced so much! I never imagined I'd ever visit Europe, and here was an opportunity not only to learn a new culture, but to experience it through music!

N. Scott, Madison Comprehensive High School


It is a very difficult thing to attempt to put such experiences into words. I loved visiting the cities and exploring with my newfound friends, but I never really felt the first REAL twinges of emotion until the concert in Strasbourg. As I stood there on stage, I realized, "here in front of me sit hundreds of people who really care for music, if not more than me than at least as much." (I will) always cherish the memories of truly being in the spotlight. I cannot think of a greater reward for my hard work!

J. Sander, Northview High School


I loved this! It was and will be one of the greatest experiences of my life and will always be cherished in my heart always!

B. Gosche, Hopewell-Loudon High School


I've been to many honor bands and camps, (but) nothing compares to the SOA Staff! They are terrific! They give supervision and enough flexibility to make you feel independent but not helpless. I made friends that will last a lifetime! And memories that will last longer than that. I really hope to come back next year!

L. Shonkwiler, Mechanicsburg High School


I met a lot of new people and the guides and drivers were great! I don't think that we could have had better directors!

J. Stolzenburg, Northmont High School


I've seen so many things I've studied or read about prior to this trip. It's a thrill and wonderfully exciting to see original works of art and architecture that have become timeless and renown!

Mrs. G. Kumpf, chaperone


SOA was more than I expected out of a tour! It's more like a big family. Many thanks!

D. Mackey, Xenia High School


I was very nervous at first, but quickly made friends that will hopefully last a lifetime. I saw many beautiful sites. . . . when the group got together, the music came alive! I am very fortunate to have had the chance to be with a group like this. It has probably been the happiest, most exciting month of my life! Thank you to everyone involved. This is a wonderful and life changing experience for people to have!

W. Baum, Western Reserve High School


The directors were superb! Two of the greatest musicians by far! Thank you for everything!

F. Weasner, Clyde High School


Touring Europe in such a well planned fashion was great but to travel and be a part of this wonderful group of young people was the way to go! The concert venues and experiences were so amazing and then seeing and listening to "our" kids performing was an experience of a lifetime for anyone and especially for a music teacher! People complain about the youth of America - they should travel with a group like SOA and really see our youth in action!

J. Donaldson, Chaperone & Music Teacher at Jackson-Milton Schools


OKLAHOMA [To the Top]

I love the family-like feeling when I first arrived at Elizabethtown! The staff knew me by my first and last name which made a big impression on me! That comfort created a base for me to open up.

A. Rich, Berryhill High School


I am very grateful and thankful for this opportunity! The fact that the staff is so well informed and experienced to have picked such great locations for the tour.

P. Looman, Oklahoma Chaperone


This was really a good way to see Europe because SOA prepared everything so well. Every hotel, all the meals and each activity was beyond anything I thought it would be!

B. Dickens, Oklahoma Chaperone


I had so much fun that it is hard to explain! I loved getting to play great music while making lifelong friends as well! Just hearing the crowd's reaction to us made me feel connected to the whole experience! It is great when people say that they can't wait for us to come back next year! It was simply amazing! I can't imagine having more fun or making better friends!

M. Ruth, Carl Albert High School


It was the most uplifting, greatest and awesome experience of my life! It is wonderful that the U.S. has a tour like this because it is such a great experience and everybody should be able to do it. Thank you, SOA and God bless you!

N. Riley, Rock Creek High School


The SOA is the beset experience that anyone could ever have! Just having the opportunity to perform with such fine musicians is something that not everyone has the chance to do!

B. McDaniel, McLoud High School


It was unbelievable - the amount of love that I received! I was welcomed with open arms into the hearts of many people. It is so great to sing in a choir that is beyond awesome!

C. Johnson, Wellston High School


I made so many new friends and had a great experience touring Europe! It was the best and I will be back!

D. Lee, Capitol Hill High School


The tour was a blast!! The friends I've made here will be my friends forever! So many talented people making music together . . . the experience of a lifetime!

R. Chapman, Antlers High School


I came knowing no one and now I have friends who I feel I've known forever! Thank you!

J. Wright, Clinton High School


The level of talent and love in the group was incredible!

J. Dibler, Weatherford High School


OREGON [To the Top]

It's the Best! Better than any other music tour! I like the fact that this is not a business tour, a tour trying to trade talents and get money. This trip has a pure purpose which makes it more meaningful."

J. Zhang, Westview High School


I have never met a more talented and amazing group of kids as well as a more able group of chaperones and staff! We truly are the future of American music! It is my firm resolve now to go home and tell all my friends and family that SOA is not only as authentic and wonderful as they say in the brochure, they are more!"

This has been an experience to shape the future of my life! I will never forget the time when I rode with friends down the canals of Venice on a gondola, or when I conducted Kyrie in the Royal Chapel of Versailles, or when I posed with gargoyles for pictures on top of Notre Dame. In fact, every chapel, cathedral, town, or country that we visited now holds some unforgettable memories that will undoubtedly shape the future of my life."

C. Kanen, Oakland High School


I do know that this trip has had an unimaginable impact on me and that all my future experiences will be measured by all that has happened during Sound of America 2004.

A. Wilson, Sweet Home High School

I love this trip so much I've done it twice! I always have a great time and the adults and the kids are always so nice and friendly.

B. Geraud, Klamath Union High School

I didn't know what to expect, even though I had been to Europe with (another performance tour group). That trip was great, but this one was even better! The music quality of both band and choir was incredible on the last trip, but I think this year's (SOA) was even better! The people were all closer, especially across busses, and the tour was much more organized.

J. Flood, Parkrose High School

The music we played was amazing and no matter how many times we had played it before, the music we made touched every time, just as deeply. I am so grateful to have experienced the beauty I found in our music, to share it with my fellow Americans who toured with me, to share it with Europe, to see the love they had for our music, and to learn from my peers and elders. Thanks for an awesome tour!

C. Thayer, Crescent Valley High School

The trip was wonderful! The staff, and other people were wonderful, it was an honor to be able to come. This trip requires hard work, and a certain level of maturity. Rehearsals are hard, and slackers are not welcome, however, if you work hard and are responsible, this can be one of the best trips of your life! Thank you!

C. Mann, Klamath Falls Union

It was one of the best things I have been involved in! Everybody was so friendly and were serious about the music portion of the tour. I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in music and would like to travel and perform with a great group of people!

B. Rogers, Oakland High School


SOA is amazing! At first I had my doubts about coming, but I've made a new family! You have to experience it first hand to realize what a special thing this is!

A. Poon, Oregon Episcopal School


(I was) impressed with how organized everything was and it was SO much more than I expected it to be!

S. Gallagher, Redmond High School


I couldn't have asked for a better experience! It was unbelievable! I wish I could do it all over again. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity. Getting to see all the different cultures was a wonderful experience. I've never felt so close to a group of people before! Thank you for bringing us all together!

D. White, Baker High School


SOA has changed my life forever! I would encourage everyone to travel with SOA! It's an experience more powerful than words can describe!

S. Lutz, Tillamook High School


I can't thank you enough for this wonderful experience! There is no question in my mind that I will be back! SOA is well worth the time, money and effort! Thank you!

A. Hordichok, Rex Putnam High School


I am so glad that I got to be a part of this great SOA organization! It was so neat to meet people from all over the U.S., and to come together and perform. This was a great and worthy experience for me and I hope I can make it back again sometime!

C. Phillips, Enterprise High School


I really do owe a lot to the SOA staff and cast members! I am forever in their debt for what they have given me . . . dreams and friendships!

K. Taisey, West Albany High School


The SOA Choir is as close to professional as I will ever get and I thank God, my family and friends for letting me become a better music student and in such a fun and memorable way!

M. Bell, Mazama High School


First I applaud you all for not only the dedication you have but the patience and willingness for this tour. I was contemplating not coming, but I am so glad that I did come! The money factor was a big part. But I found the community to be so helpful and generous! I have learned so much, I have grown from the experience. To all the chaperones - thank you for all that you have done! To those who are yet to come (on SOA): The tour is wonderful, the sights are beautiful and the friendships are special and forever!

S. Thompson, Grant Union High School



“My musical interests expanded on this tour, because never in my life, have I ever played in a professional level high school honor band! I would definitely recommend this tour to talented musicians!”

B. Delong, Wellsboro High School

“The performances are more fun and rewarding that I ever imagined. We were treated so well throughout the tour – you really got a lot for your money!”

J. Helinek, Wyomissing High School


It was absolutely amazing! I consider myself so honored and lucky to be part of something so amazing and special! The staff is so helpful, knowledgeable, and caring. The directors are great! I've met some of the best people in my life on this trip.

B. Eisaman, Forbes Road High School


SOA is the chance of a lifetime that you should definitely experience! For the cost and the preparation it is completely worth it! I've never had so much fun in my life! I am so blessed to have gone on this trip! Never once did I get homesick because after the first night I had already made a new family. The friends and memories that I have made on this trip will be with me for the rest of my life!

D. McCloskey, Garnett Valley High School


This tour has helped me to become more globally aware, by experiencing the people and customs of other nations. It has taught me to be more outgoing towards others, the meaning of responsibility and that there really is a whole world outside of the U.S.

E. Wagner, Eisenhower High School


This tour has made me a better person, a better musician, and has made me grow up a lot! The people on this tour have become some of my closest friends and I have learned so much about life and responsibility because of SOA.

A. Shank, West York High School


I loved visiting all of the places! There was so much culture and I feel like I learned a lot. And I met some really great people! Whoever picked the roommates did a fantastic job!"

H. Glance, NWPA Collegiate Academy


It was a feeling an honor and devotion toward my country to be able to tour Europe with 200 other complete strangers that are now like my family and friends forever!

D. Heath, Carlisle High School


Everyone became tight the first day. Everyone builds off another's enthusiasm. There wasn't one dull moment that I ever experienced! I loved the performers and especially the staff because they do become your home away from home!

A. Slaughter, NWPA Collegiate Academy


This trip has compelled me to work harder, to be the best French horn player that I can possibly be! By being allowed the privilege of playing with such an excellent organization such as the Sound of America. It has been the greatest experience of my entire life!"

A. Perkins, Franklin High School

This has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I have made life long friends and memories I'll never forget!"

M. Hobbs, Abington Heights High School

Performing in packed halls with enthusiastic audiences is not something that I will ever be able to forget. That feeling was incredible!

K. Turcovski, Altoona Area High School

It's an unbelievable feeling to have performed a song numerous times and still have it spark a tear in your eye or emotion in you heart!

S. Shughart, Mahanoy Area High School

I had the amazing opportunity of traveling all over Europe and seeing the most beautiful sites in the world with my new family and sharing our gift of music!

M. Curley, Baldwin High School

The trip has taught me to be a more caring, understanding, compassionate, and open minded person.

T. Baker, Altoona High School


Meeting people that feel just as passionate about music as you do is an amazing feeling!

K. Chencharick,Moshannon Valley High School

Seeing all of the effort that went in to making this trip possible and fun has really inspired me! Thank you so much for the best time of my life!

J. Urbas, Forest City Regional High School

I had the most amazing time here in Europe! I really enjoyed every place that we went and was really pleased by the audiences' enthusiasm toward our work!

L. Roberts, Upper Dublin High School

It has been the most amazing experience playing for such enthusiastic European crowds!

A. Miller, Lackawana Trail High School


This has been one of the best experiences I've ever had! I wouldn't have traded it for the world! I made so many new friends and got to travel Europe! I can't think of any other way I'd rather spend my July!

L. Wainwright, Exeter High School

I feel that I have improved as a musician through this experience. Many thanks to Mr. Barr for his devotion to teaching students through experience and music! An opportunity like this doesn't come every day , and I am so thankful for being blessed enough to be chosen to participate! You have truly changed my life!

E. Stimer, Hollidaysburg High School

Once again, Mr. Barr and his staff organized and provided a remarkable touring experience for a group of cross-country young musicians!

A. Patterson, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

This has been one of my best summers ever! I've learned so much from this tour! Lots of endurance, hope, patience, love, kindness and much more! The people on this tour have been great! The staff and chaperones made the tour a ton of fun. I'd love to go again!

R. Pasquarello, Greencastle-Antrim High School


I think that this is one of the most amazing experiences of my life! I am so glad and honored to be a part of this tour! It was awesome!

J. Schofer, Hamburg Area High School

This trip was truly a unique experience! I cherished the opportunity to meet so many talented musicians from all over the country. I was able to experience so many new countries and customs that I never would have had the opportunity to without this tour.

A. Snyder, Altoona Area High School


SOA has been the most rewarding musical experience of my life! It enabled me to grow not only as a musician, but also as a person.

B. Shaw, Towanda High School


I knew it would be an awesome experience, but I had no clue how awesome it would be! Being able to share the gift of music with so many people across Europe has been a performing experience like none other!

M. Dewald, Exeter Twp. High School

I would like to thank Mr. & Mrs. Barr for a wonderful time Anita and I had on the trip! The sights that we saw will live in my memory forever - the most moving part was the American cemetery not dry eye could be found that day. It was great to be with such great young adults that I think were great ambassadors for the USA!

R. & A. Bowermaster, chaperones, Carlisle


This experience has been the most incredible one of my life! I will never forget all the beautiful music and friendships that were made on this tour!

M. Newman, Central Bucks East High School


I never thought a girl like myself from a small town would ever get the opportunity to tour Europe with super talented musicians and a very caring staff. I'm proud to be part of the SOA family now!

A. Cody, Mifflinburg High School


When I first came to SOA I thought it would be different than the brochure says, but it's actually 100 times better! I've made so many lifelong friends, that I'll definitely be back!

B. James, Ringgold High School


This tour was an amazing eye-opener for me! It was probably the most incredible time I have ever had, and I will never forget it! It offered me experiences that most people only dream of, and I am very thankful for that! Many thanks to the staff of SOA - you made this a wonderful experience!

A. Layman, Cumberland Valley High School


I think that it was a great opportunity for people with musical talent to play throughout Europe and to play with each other in such a talented group!

M. Kruise, Altoona High School

The whole experience was amazing and I have no regrets about experiencing other cultures, making new friends and performing with great musicians. Many thanks to the Barrs, who once again have provided one with a great trip!

K. Novak, Carlisle High School


I would recommend this tour to anyone! It was a wonderful way for a person my age to see the world and perform music. I learned more about myself in the last 25 days than I have in the last 17 years! I'm going to carry this experience with me for the rest of my life!

K. Labriola, Altoona Area High School


We performed at wonderful places that most people only dream about! The whole tour was perfectly done!

C. Knauer, Kutztown High School


I went on another tour of Europe two summers ago. The students were all from PA, there was no audition, no recommendation, . . . and very little free time. The kids were younger, and although I had a blast, I was 16, and now being 18, things have changed. I think the atmosphere of SOA is more sophisticated, more relaxed and more respectful to the students. I loved meeting people from all over and getting the chance to express myself with beautiful music, while spending my summer after high school in so many exciting and beautiful places! Thank you so much for the opportunity to grow musically and in God's eyes!

A. Spitko, Upper Dublin High School


This has been a wonderful experience for me! I've made friends that will remain friends for life. I can't think of a better way to spend a month of my summer... I can't say any words to explain how awesome this was! Thank you so much!

D. Yinger, Boiling Springs High School


SOA is a very exciting group to be a part of. The high level of quality musicianship fulfilled me in a way that school choirs can't! I feel so privileged to have been part of such a fantastic organization!

B. Payer, Bensalem High School


The SOA band tour was a dream for me! Dreams are usually things that we enjoy, but never do we expect life to live up to them. This concert tour lived up to every one of my dreams and more! It has opened my eyes to new cultures and experiences! I am forever indebted to SOA!

A. Ford, Middletown Area High School


I would just like to say that this has been the most impressive summer in my life, and the friends I made will hopefully last a lifetime!

S. Rhoads, Oley Valley High School


I've made so many friends and was given the opportunity to perform in so many fabulous concert halls! I wouldn't trade it for anything and I would love to go again!

E. Carbonell, South Western High School


Not only was this trip a wonderful performance opportunity, but it was also the chance to expand my horizons! Such an experience doesn't knock on your door every day. It is so exhilarating to watch a foreign audience give one or our performances a standing ovation! Thank you for this awesome experience!

S. Adams, Altoona Area High School


It was the highlight of my musical career!

Dr. J. Hall, Professor of Music at Clarion University


It was a dream come true for me! I have nothing but positive things to say about SOA! I was impressed that the staff was able to be our friends and still remain very professional. I was impressed very much with some of the other students' talent. I feel extremely lucky to have been able to join SOA this summer! Experiences like this for people like me don't come along everyday, and so I will cherish every waking moment I spent with SOA! I think what you are doing gives students a really wonderful opportunity, and I hope the tradition continues for many years to come!

A. Irvine, Towanda Area High School


It was the best summer of my life! The friendships that were made are beyond explanation! I would tell anyone who is involved in music that this is definitely the tour for them!

A. Lehman, Delaware Valley High School


It has been the best experience in my life so far! Nothing will ever top the music experience! It was great!

T. Burke, Eastern York High School


I appreciated the opportunity to travel with such an organized tour and talented musical group! The trip was an exciting tour filled with various cultural activity!

S. Mellinger, Chaperone, Newburg


The tour was great! For once kids have been treated like adults and respected like adults!

M. Clark, Oil City High School


Never have I had so much fun musically or socially! The friends I made and the new experiences will last forever! Thanks SOA!

J. Johnson, Twin Valley High School


Thanks to you for the experience! Seeing the countries, enjoying students and SOA staff, learning more about what we saw made European history "come alive"!

J. Kretzing, chaperone, Carlisle


I had a great time! Mr. Barr was a great director and a really, really nice man. The organization of the group (equipment and activities) is also quite impressive. I would love to be able to go again! And I would definitely recommend this to anyone who expresses an interest!

J. Quinn, Lehigh University


I've never realized how kind people really are, and how close others can become in such a short time - it was worth every ounce of work and money it took me to get here!

M. Porco, Burgettstown High School


I really didn't expect it to be this great. (It's) definitely worth the money!

Q. Banogon, Bishop McDevitt High School


I felt that this has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! I have been able to love music and see Europe at the same time. And, I have made some of the best friends ever!

R. Sach, Sun Valley High School


The tour was definitely the dream of a lifetime! Everybody is great and I'm definitely glad I came - don't change a thing!

S. Heimbach, Quakertown Community High School


There was not one part about the trip that I did not like. I think SOA is a perfect and reasonable opportunity for young adults to broaden their horizons. Thank you for making it available!!

J. Quinn, Bishop McCort High School


When I left the USA, I didn't want to even go. However, the trip was so much fun and my friends were so great that I no longer wanted the trip to end! If all goes as planned, I'll be back!

K. Smith, East Stroudsburg High School


I truly believe that the things I have learned on this trip (musical and otherwise) are far more important than anything I could ever learn in college! Thanx for prepping me for the real world!

K. Borthwick, Pittston Area High School


We could not have asked for a better organized tour! We thoroughly enjoyed the tour!

J. Freeland, chaperone, Carlisle


I had a wonderful time on this tour! I learned a lot about myself and many different people. If you're given the chance, you should definitely do it!

C. Morini, Lincoln High School


This trip gave me the chance to do something I doubt I will ever be able to do again - share the love of music with people who have an equal intense love for it and explore Europe for the first time!

J. Boxer, Mahanoy Area High School


The trip was great! Very well planned out and organized! It was a dream come true for me to visit Europe at such an early age!

After her second tour w/ SOA, she wrote,

I enjoyed myself very much! I am amazed at how SOA has such a great variety in the tour for such a good price. The band and chorus were both excellent, again. Bravo to the SOA staff!

A. Dory, East Stroudsburg High School


I believe that this tour has made everyone realize the potential they have. I would do it again in a New York minute!

M. Campbell, Harry S. Truman High School


I am sure this trip has broadened my horizons. The friendliness of all the participants made me feel we were a family. The itinerary enabled us all to see as much as possible of Europe as time allotted. This truly was a dream come true!

J. Ile, chaperone, Newburg


I have never been with so many people who are so musically talented! It was the greatest experience in my life! I feel I have grown a lot in my own music because of SOA! Thanx!

S. Yoder, Hamburg Area High School


The SOA tour was the best experience of my life! It enlightened my view of the many different cultures and allowed time to appreciate each and every one of them. This tour also taught me the professionalism needed to succeed in life. If asked to recommend this trip to someone, I would never let them pass up what would surely be the most memorable experience of their life!

T. Hollinger, South Western High School


Being surrounded by appreciative audiences and being able to teach them about us through music as well as learn about them through experiencing their culture was amazing! The tour was excellently planned out, the way we took in all the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Europe and had a successful and rewarding concert tour!

S. Etters, Altoona Area High School


SOA was a once in a lifetime chance for me! Performing in front of hundreds of people was awesome, especially when they demanded encore after encore. I loved it!

H. Hockenbrough, Middleburg High School

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updated 11-5-13