Northern Ambassadors of Music Leave American Impact Abroad
From Fargo to France, homegrown talent is getting a global stage.
FARGO, N.D. – Every other year, some of the best musical talents in the Heartland gather for a once–in–a–lifetime trip.
Among them is Cameron Bitz. He does electrical work in Williston, North Dakota, but it isn’t his work with currents that grabs your attention.
It’s his electrifying voice.
“It’s something I’ve been doing since I was about 4 years old, that’s when I started singing.” said Cameron.
Cameron is a soloist in the Choir of the Northern Ambassadors of Music Concert Tour. This tour is a way for him to further his career in music, as well as bring a piece of American culture to the rest of the world, and if he had the option to sing any song for the audience’s abroad…
“I’d say some older Willie Nelson, George Strait, I’d do any George Strait song.” said Cameron.
The group takes the best student musicians in North Dakota and Montana, and sends them to Europe, where they will perform in concerts in countries like England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Germany.
“We often hear how wonderful our kids are, and what great representatives they are. That’s nice when American tourists come up to you and say ‘Good Job! Thank you for bringing these kids over and showing this side of America to Europe.'” said Dr. Sigurd Johnson, a staff member for the Northern Ambassadors of Music, and conductor of one of the two concert bands.
“You watch them grow from these really scared, terrified, ‘I’m in over my head, oh my goodness im in a big city’, to watch them blossom into these world travelers,” said Kimberly Lorengo, a staff member who assists with the Choir.
The Northern Ambassadors of Music is more than just a life–changing experience; it’s an opportunity for students to keep pursuing their lifelong passion of music.
Dareien Lund is a staff member for the concert tour, but she started out as a student on the 2011 tour. It changed her life.
“It solidified my interest in music. I’m from really small Class B North Dakota, so being able to play in such a large ensemble, and play such interesting and crazy music for different groups of people really influenced me in becoming a music educator” said Dareien.
Dareien is responsible for nominating students to go on the tour, and for inspiring the next generation of musicians in ways they haven’t even imagined yet. The nomination process is about more than talent. It’s about passion, character, and a commitment to the world of music.
“I’m so excited to be on that other side and show them that the world is so much bigger than Oakes, North Dakota, where I teach, or even bigger than Fargo.” said Dareien.
Dakota Schoenfelder and Cameron have been playing music together since the day they met. Neither of them has ever been outside of the country before
“It’s going to be the trip of a lifetime and we’re just really excited to go.” said Dakota.
And Dakota wouldn’t be on this trip if it wasn’t for the influence of his father.
“My dad raised me musically, started off with Bob Dylan, you know, old style, people that put passion into their music and it just kind of grew from there.” said Dakota.
The Northern Ambassadors of Music will leave an American Impact on Europe, that’ll last for years to come.
And for Cameron and his charged voice…
“If I could I would love to make a career out of it, definitely.” said Cameron.
He hopes to be shocking crowds for the rest of his life.