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Three MHS Juniors are fundraising for the performance trip to Europe next summer

PMG PHOTO KIVA HANSON - Vanessa Young, Olivia Johnson and Jose Monroy Jr., juniors at MHS, were selected for the Oregon 
Ambassadors of Music Program. They are excited to travel to Europe and share their music with others.

Three students from Madras High School will soon have the opportunity to travel to Europe and perform with the Oregon Ambassadors of Music. Juniors Vanessa Young, Olivia Johnson and Jose Monroy Jr. were selected among other students from all over Oregon to travel across Europe performing and experiencing the new and different cultures of the region.

The Oregon Ambassadors of Music program has been taking Oregon choral and band students to Europe since 1995, offering them the opportunity to gain performance, travel and cultural experiences while sharing their music.

"I'm very excited to get to go experience other cultures, and share music with them," said Johnson, "I think music is a great way to connect."

The students, who began playing their instruments in sixth grade, are all juniors at MHS and involved in the MHS Honor Band, PEP Band, Marching Band, Bandership and Drama.

Vanessa Young, 16, plays the clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, voice and guitar. She has a 4.0 and has been in band for six years. She is also a part of leadership, yearbook, National Honor Society, Symphonic Band, Theatre and Chamber Choir at MHS, as well as vice president of the Key Club and Captain of the winter guard. After high school, she is considering pursuing law.

The ability to play music, travel and perform is important to the high schoolers. "I think music is one of the best ways we can communicate and be together," said Young. "No matter your language or where you're from, you can always appreciate music. The feeling of music is universal."

Olivia Johnson, 16, plays the alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, electric guitar, clarinet, kalimba and trumpet. She is a 4.0 student at MHS and is involved in the National Honor Society, Key Club and is a member of the Junior Class Committee. She loves to be in nature and enjoys photography and plans to join the National Guard after high school to help people affected by disasters.

Jose Monroy Jr, 17, plays the baritone saxophone, alto saxophone, flute, clarinet and drums. He has a 3.7 at MHS and has been in band for six years. He is selected as a part of honor band, solos and ensembles. He founded MHS's first jazz band and participates in pep band, marching bands and theater. He is the head waiter at Rio restaurant in Madras, and plans to double major in music theory and electrical engineering in college.

The students are responsible for fundraising for the trip and will be hosting a holiday soiree at Madras Brewing on Dec. 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. Madras Brewing is donating 25% of the proceeds from the night to the student's trip and they will be playing live music all evening.

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