Phs Musicians Invited To Tour Europe

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Two of Payson High School's musicians have been chosen to perform in Europe this summer on a 19-day tour with the US Youth Chorale, String and Wind Ensembles in July.

Kyle Leonard will play percussion in the orchestra and Heidi Haworth will sing in the chorale.

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Kyle Leonard will play percussion with the U.S. Youth Chorale, String and Wind Ensembles during a 19-day tour of Europe in July. He will be joined by Heidi Haworth.

"The program was designed to enrich and expand the musical and cultural experience of the nearly 150 students participating and to demonstrate to the world the quality of America's Youth," said business manager Cynthia Cook.

They were invited to apply for the tour on PHS band instructor Larry Potvin's recommendation. Their musical resumes landed them invitations.

"I've never been overseas, I haven't even been past Kansas," Leonard said.

After graduation, Leonard plans to pursue a career as a high school band instructor.

"I have been a percussionist since the fifth grade," he said. "I was in the Northern Arizona Regional High School Band twice. I was second chair the first year and this year I was first chair."

He plays snare drum in the PHS marching band and thinks he will play the snare or keyboards on the tour.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and an honor for my application to be chosen out of hundreds of kids," Heidi Haworth said.

Haworth is a veteran of musicals and plays at PHS. She has studied piano for 11 years and last year began voice lessons.

She used her 2005 scholarship from the Payson Choral Society to buy a digital piano so she could compose and practice.

"Singing and playing the piano is relaxing but performing is a rush," Haworth said.

The European tour will take them performing in the bandstands of Germany and the piazzas in Italy. They will perform at Luxembourg Gardens and Notre Dame Cathedral in France. Their concert will be recorded at the Theatre de Musique in Switzerland. They will also perform in Austria and the Netherlands.

Haworth and Leonard are both working to raise the $4,000 it will cost them each to participate.

Leonard has a job at Big O Tires and Haworth is doing odd jobs. Both teens have set up accounts at local banks (Bank of America and National Bank respectively) to accept donations.

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