Davis wins European trip thanks to music

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 15, 2000

Features Editor

June 14, 2000 10 PM

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunities come only once in a lifetime and those who have them and don’t take advantage of them will never have them again.

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Bradley Davis, a member of the Charles Henderson High School Class of 2000, isn’t letting his opportunity get away.

Bradley has been selected as a member of the United States Collegiate Wind Band, a national high school honors band, which will tour Europe this summer. They will appear on a number of important concert stages in France, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany, Austria and Holland.

Just saying the names of those exciting countries is enough to take one’s breath away and Bradley is no exception.

"I’m excited – very excited," he said. I got the music for the concerts last week and just seeing the music is exciting."

Having the music in-hand is concrete evidence that this opportunity is real, not just a hope and a dream as it was a few months ago.

As a member of the All-State jazz and concert bands, Bradley received an invitation to audition for the United States Collegiate Wind Band, He said he decided he had nothing to lose and a lot to gain. So, he sent a tape of trumpet solos to Dr. Al Wright, director of bands emeritus at Purdue University in Lafayette, Ind.along with a resume and hoped for the best.

In late March, the good news came. Bradley had been selected for the prestigious band and he was the only selection from Alabama.

During his high school career, Bradley was an outstanding musician and leader in the CHHS "Blue Machine" Band. His honors were impressive. He reached the All- State level in both the jazz and concert bands his junior and senior years. He was selected through an audition process to honor bands at Florida State, Auburn and Troy State universities, as well as district honor bands. He is an accomplished musician at the piano and the trumpet and has aspirations to write music.

However, he first plans to enjoy the experience that is just before him.

Davis will fly to New York July 2 where he will participate in four days of pre-tour rehearsals before boarding a fight to Paris July 6.

When he boards the plane in Atlanta, he will embark on his first airplane ride and his first extended absence from his family.

Bradley said he is looking forward to the flight and he imagines the 21-day, whirlwind schedule will leave him little time to get homesick.

"In addition to performing, we’ll experience the art, history, literature, music and culture of the eight countries where we’ll perform," he said. "We’ll visit the Louvre, Anne Frank’s house, a World War II concentration and attend several operas, including "Aida" in a 2000-year-old Roman amphitheater in Verona, and a symphony orchestra concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall."

In addition, the members of the honors band will visit a number of Europe’s musical shrines including Mozart’s birthplace in Salzburg, Beethoven’s house in Bonn and Richard Wagner’s house in Lucerne.

"We will stay with host families families in Belgium, tour the Houses of Parliament in London and perform with the Italian Ballet," Bradley said. "Being a member of this tour will really be the experience of a lifetime."

The cost of the trip per person is $4,000 which Bradley said is a bargain because it includes air fare, lodging and meals and the experience will be priceless.

Bradley is seeking sponsors to assist him with the financial aspect of the trip. Anyone who would like to support him as he represents CHHS, Troy, Pike County and Alabama as a member of this national high school honors band may do so by sending a gift contribution to him at 317 Woodland Circle, Troy, AL 36081.

He will keep a journal of his travels so that he may share this unique experience with others when he returns home July 27.

"This trip will greatly enrich my life and will be beneficial to me as a musician and as a future educator," he said.

Bradley is the son of Jim and Debbie Davis of Troy.