An upcoming Camdenton senior will be joining a select group of student musicians from nearly all 50 states this summer to tour Europe as part of The Sound of America Honor Band & Chorus.
In July John Fritz has the opportunity to visit Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France and Luxembourg over a 23-day tour that will include nine performances in some of Europe's finest concert halls and major cathedrals.
John will be singing bass in the choir after earning a slot in the All State Honor Choir his junior year. He will be one of five basses in the choir this year.
As representatives of the U.S. and their respective communities as well as performers, The Sound of America students are carefully screened and chosen after a rigid character and musical evaluation. Over its 37 year existence, The Sound of America Honor Band & Chorus has received international acclaim and has been the recipient of letters of commendation from three former U.S. Presidents.
"It's a huge vacation, but there's also a lot I can learn musically from being in such a highly ranked choir," John said. "There's a lot of music to get down and high stakes performances."
But John and his parents, Lawrence and Wendy Fritz of the Greenview area, are looking for help to take advantage of this opportunity. It costs $6,185 to go, and the family is seeking donations to help make the perhaps once-in-a-lifetime trip financially feasible for John.
The Sound of American is a non-profit organization so donations are tax deductible. To help send John on the tour, donations can be made payable to The Sound of America and mailed to: John Fritz, 66 Knotty Pine Dr., Camdenton, MO 65020. Write "donation" in the memo line, and The Sound of America will send receipts for tax purposes upon request for donations over $250.
With his whole family involved in music, it has always been a big part of John's life.
Some of his vocal honors include being named to the National Honor Choir with the American Choral Directors Association for three years - as a Tenor I in the 7th grade and as a Bass in the 9th and 11th grades.The National Honor Choir is selected every other year. On alternating years, John has been named to the Regional Honor Choir with the ACDA as a Bass II in the 8th and 10th grades. He has been named to the District Honor Choir every year since he was a freshman.
John also sings bass with Camdenton's Chamber and show choirs.
In addition to singing, John plays alto sax with the concert band, marching band and jazz band. He sometimes sings with jazz band as well.
Page 2 of 2 - Academically, John is an International Baccalaureate student and an honors student. He also performed in a murder mystery play at school last year.
John is considering majoring in music in college and go on either as a performer or as a music teacher.
For The Sound of America tour, John will go to Elizabethtown, Penn. June 29 for four days of intensive rehearsal and orientation before the group departs New York City for Frankfurt Germany.
The conductor of the honor chorus is Dr. Nancy Klein, Graduate Program Director and Director of Choirs in the Department of Music at Old Dominion University in Virginia.