ADA — The Oklahoma Ambassadors of Music, a group of 150 outstanding high school band and choir students from across the state, will attend a camp at East Central University June 15-17 before beginning a 16-day tour across western Europe.

The choir, jazz ensemble and wind band will perform the tour program in a free concert at 3 p.m. Sunday in ECU's Dorothy Summers Theatre. On June 18 they will fly to London to begin the tour, accompanied by 25 state band and choir directors.

"This is the only combined group of Oklahoma high school band and choir students who travel to Europe," said Allen Correll, ECU director of bands and OAM band coordinator. "The camp is to get the group ready to perform on the tour."

The students will perform in London, England; Paris, France; Crans-montana, Switzerland; Seefeld, Austria; and Rothenburg, Germany.

They also will spend a day in Venice, Italy, and tour Dachau Prison Camp just outside Munich, Gemany.

This is the first year the camp has been held at ECU.

The students who participate in the tour, which occurs every other year, are nominated by their directors as being mature and outstanding musicians in their programs, Correll said. The students pay for their trip and many receive help from their schools and communities.

"The experience is fantastic," Correll said. "Most of the performances are outdoors and the people over there have always beenenthusiastic and appreciative.”

They especially like for us to perform

music that represents America."

Correll said the wind band will perform such American pieces as

George Gershwin's "Strike Up the Band," the music of Stephen

Foster and Ray Charles, Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!" and

John Phillip Sousa's "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

"In London, the groups perform at Embankment Gardens on the

Thames River and there is a group of elderly adults that always drive in

from the country to hear the Oklahoma students because of the

performance quality," Correll said. "There is a little lady that

looks like an elderly Mary Poppins who likes to dance while we play.

It's great fun."

This tour will be Correll's fourth. He was Westmoore High

School's band director on the first two tours, then was hired as

ECU's band director. He is now the tour's band coordinator. Greg

Johnson, Mustang High School choir director, and his wife are the tour

directors.

The high schools represented by the students include Alva,

Altus, Antlers, Balko, Bixby, Blanchard, Cleveland, Clinton, Charles

Page, Dewey, Elk City, Edmond North, Enid, Grove, Hilldale, Hobart,

Idabel, Ketchum, Jay, McAlester, Merritt, Metro Christian, Miami,

Muskogee, Mustang, Oaks, Okay, Owasso, Pauls Valley, Putnam City, Pryor,

Sapulpa, Skiatook, Smithville, Snyder, Stroud, Vinita, Westmoore, Yale

and Yukon.

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