(Posted July 7, 2017)
Three talented Madison County youths are about to embark on an experience of a lifetime.
On July 17, West Jefferson resident Nicole Evans and London siblings Ruth and Luke Peart will board a plane with 52 of their fellow New World Singers and travel to Austria and Hungary.
Over the course of 12 days, the teenagers will take part in workshops, collaborate with the world-renowned Vienna Boys Choir, serve as the primary demonstration choir at the International Kodaly Choral Seminar, and try their best to put their performing ensemble on the international map.
“We want to show that we are one of the top choirs in Ohio and can be one of the best in the world,” said Ruth, a 17-year-old senior-to-be at London High School.
For more than a decade, Ruth has been a member of the Columbus Children’s Choir where she honed her vocal skills and joined their elite choir, the New World Singers, when she was a pre-teen.
During her time with the Columbus Children’s Choir, Ruth has performed across the country with esteemed orchestras and traveled to Spain with her brother Luke to take part in the prestigious International Festival of Music and Dance.
One might consider Ruth and Luke to be somewhat experienced in continental and transcontinental tours, but this particular trip has both of them in awe.
“How many times do you get to see the Vienna Boys Choir in person, let alone perform with them?” Ruth asked.
Nicole expressed a similar sentiment.
“It was unbelievable,” said the 16-year-old junior-to-be at West Jefferson High School, referencing the touring announcement last year. “It still kinda is.”
Unlike the Peart siblings, Nicole has only been performing with the Columbus Children’s Choir and the New World Singers for a few years and has yet to undertake any major tours.
But in about a week, she will be on that flight to Austria, performing with the Vienna Boys Choir in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, traveling to Hungary to be part of the International Kodaly Choral Seminar, and trying to locate the meadow featured in the opening scene of “The Sound of Music.”
“It’s my favorite movie,” Nicole said.
Sightseeing aside, both Nicole and Ruth said they look forward to the professional aspect of the tour.
“I am excited to learn,” Nicole said. “I think I will learn a lot from working with the Vienna Boys Choir. They have a completely different sound, and I will be able to learn different techniques through practicing and performing with them.”
Ruth said she also looks forward to the workshops at the International Kodaly Institute.
Though some grants are available to organizations making the trip, most of members of the New World Singers must pay their own way. To cover costs, Nicole, Ruth and Luke hit the fundraising trail.
Ruth and Luke sold as many candy bars as they could throughout the year at London High School.
Nicole baked a mass amount of cupcakes and cookies and sold them at fairs and festivals throughout the county. As added insurance, she made raffled off a new iPad she had won.
“That was a little hard to do,” she said, adding it was the right thing to do. “This trip is a dream come true.”
From the time the Columbus Children’s Choir started traveling internationally, they have performed in France, Italy, Russia, the Czech Republic and Germany. Though this will not be the first time the organization has traveled to Austria, it will be the first time they have undertaken such collaborations.
Jeanne Wohlgamuth, the artistic director for the Columbus Children’s Choir, said it is important for the organization that its students get to experience the sights and sounds of different states and countries.
“The Columbus Children’s Choir tours are a positive balance of recreation, education and artistic performance,” she stated. “It is our tour policy to provide our singers with an experience that will help them grow as young musicians and people.”