July 4, 2013

Teen embarks on European concert tour

PLATTSBURGH — Though singing is just one of Xenia Matthews’s many talents, it happens to be the one that has earned her a trip to Europe.

The Plattsburgh High School freshman has been selected to participate in this summer’s Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus European Concert Tour.

The prestigious music program gives talented high-school and college musicians and vocalists from across the nation the opportunity to travel abroad and perform in some of Europe’s finest concert halls.

“We’re going to six countries, and we’re doing nine concerts,” said Matthews, who was invited to audition for the Honor Chorus after performing in the Area All-State Women’s Chorus this winter.


Shortly after submitting her audition tape, the 15-year-old received word that she had made the cut and would be spending much of July singing and exploring in Luxembourg, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

“She was very excited; she was jumping up and down,” said her mother, Crystal Price, adding that Matthews even asked her 11-year-old brother, Landis, to film her opening her acceptance letter.

Matthews and her chorus mates were scheduled to kick off the program on June 29 at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pa., with four days of rehearsals and two Bon Voyage concert performances before embarking on their three-week European tour today.


Before arriving in Elizabethtown, Matthews was expected to memorize 13 songs for the tour, many of which are in different languages, including Latin and French.

“I try to sing them every day, so I don’t forget anything,” she said.

Price noted, however, that her daughter actually learned the songs in just two days and would even set several daily alarms to remind herself to practice.

Matthews and Price, along with a member of their church, hosted several fundraisers to help offset the nearly $7,000 needed for Matthews to take part in the tour.

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