Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Carleigh Griffeth
Forest, VA - A Brookville High School Senior landed a pretty cool summer gig. He will be traveling Europe for three weeks performing in a band. And, you've really got to be good to get a spot in this band.
Chris Yarber will be performing with the Sound of America Honor Band and Chorus. And this Brookville Bee is the only band member picked in all of Virginia.
Chris Yarber first found his instrument in Middle School band class.
"It's a euphonium," said Yarber.
But, it wasn't necessarily love at first sight. Honestly, it wasn't even like at first sight.
"I was going to choose the tuba, but he was like, Okay, we don't have any baritones in this class. Will somebody raise their hand and say they'll play baritone? And I raised my hand not even remembering what it looked like," said Yarber.
That was Yarber's turning point. For the next seven years, he racked up numerous awards, playing in middle school and high school. Then, The Sound of America came up and the chance to perform all over Europe.
"We go to Germany, we go to France, we go to Luxembourg, we go to Switzerland, and we go to Italy and we go to Austria," said Yarber.
Performing on an international stage, the stakes are high. But, family says Chris is prepared.
"Christopher is used to a high standard from Brookville, so he's going to continue that with The Sound of America. And it's just incredible what they have those kids do," said Tom Yarber, Chris's dad.
The Sound of America gives 100 students the opportunity to travel the world. But, all the while representing their home.
"We play a lot of American traditional songs like Stars and Stripes Forever and America the Beautiful, so we go over there and really represent our country through our playing and our singing," said Yarber.
Appropriately, Chris leaves for Europe on the 4th of July.
If you are a civic organization and would like to make a donation to Sound of America in Chris's name, you can mail your donation to this address:
ATTN: The Sound of America, 411 Ramblewood Road, Forest, VA 24551.