Traveling overseas during summer break is a great opportunity in and of itself, but five York County college students will travel to London to perform with Mansfield University bands at the 2012 Olympics.
For Alyssa Kennedy, 20, of Hanover, the trip next week will be her first time traveling outside the United States.
"I am so excited and very much looking forward to the international traveling," said Kennedy. "It is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity to play not only in London but also at the Olympics for the world."
Plus, traveling to London is something she can cross off her bucket list,
She is excited to play for an international crowd and said she might become emotional being part of the Olympics and feeling so much pride for her own country.
"Not only does it give me an opportunity to root on the United States, but I can be a representation of what the United States stands for while playing our patriotic songs," Kennedy said.
Mansfield University is one of Pennsylvania's 14 state universities and is located in the northern part of the state in Tioga County.
Kennedy plays the trumpet as part of the brass band and will be a junior at Mansfield this year, where she majors in music education.
Other York County students going on the trip are Benjamin Eisenhour, Geoffrey Baker, Seth Keller and Melissa Doty.
Excitement: Doty, of Penn Township, is also leaving the United States for the first time.
The marching band member said she is most excited to be in another country and learn about a different culture. They will have time for sightseeing and get to spend one day in Paris before arriving in London.
"We get to go see a women's soccer game, which I think is pretty cool," said Doty, who is an incoming senior and plays piccolo. "I've never been really into soccer, but I think that's pretty cool that we get to see it at the Olympics."
"It is a lot of promotion for us, and it was such an opportunity to be invited to go," Doty said. "It is a once in a lifetime experience."
Keller, 21, of Dover, is entering his senior year as a music education major at Mansfield.
"Music is the international language, and the world stage in London is the perfect place to share our performances," said Keller. "That being said, I am slightly nervous for each of our venues."
"This is the greatest honor I have ever had as a musician," said the mellophone and French horn player.
Olympics: An avid fan of the Olympics, Keller said he loves the idea of the entire globe coming together and celebrating the achievements of men and women.
Music is central to the Olympics, he said, and it is hard to imagine the Olympics from the opening ceremony to the national anthems and the music played while medals are awarded without music.
Mansfield University will send 140 students to the Olympics from Aug. 1 to 9, where they will perform in a marching unit, concert band, brass band, jazz combo and a Dixieland group.
They will be playing at a variety of venues in London and Paris, as well as at a Cambridge United States Military Cemetery during a wreath-laying ceremony.
-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org