Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another European Trip for Landon

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Another European Trip for Landon

Article excerpt

Anthony Felton doesn't speak a lick of Swiss.

But that won't matter when he sits at a piano a few days from

now to perform in Montreux, Switzerland.

It won't matter that his audience is made up of thousands of

Swiss, other Europeans and Americans enjoying foreign travel

because his music won't have language to it. People will

understand what they hear because his sound will flow. His

audience will feel the beat no matter what.

Anthony, 14, will be one of 22 Landon Middle School students to

perform this week at four European jazz festivals.

Highlighting the trip is an invitation to play at the Montreux

International Jazz Festival. The University of North Florida's

First Jazz Ensemble will also play at the event.

Landon's group, the only middle school ever to perform in the

festival, is scheduled to leave today.

Landon conducted a European send-off concert at The

Jacksonville Landing on Saturday.

In addition to the Montreux festival, the sixth-, seventhand

eighth-graders will give performances at the North Sea Jazz

Festival in the Netherlands and a July 4 performance at the

American-Geneva Clubs of Switzerland.

The only thing on Anthony's mind was the plane ride.

"I'm a little worried about getting there," he said.

Anthony isn't looking forward to the 25-hour trip the band will

have to make, but he can't wait to get to Europe. He's heard

from other students who attended the event about how much fun it

was.

Four years ago, Landon Middle School was thought to be the only

middle school in the United States invited to send a band to

perform at the annual Montreux International Jazz Festival in

Switzerland, which attracts the world's greatest jazz musicians.

It was even thought to be the only middle school ever to be

invited twice to the prestigious event after a 1987 invitation.

"My brother got to go in 1993 and I've always wanted to go,"

said Jason McQueen, 13, who plays the alto saxophone. "This is a

neat thing for middle schoolers. We get to travel out of the

country and see the world and have fun doing it."

The group will be accompanied by chaperones, including Carol

McQueen, director of the Jazz Band, Jim Daniel, head of the

school's private lesson program, and instructor Carl Poole. …

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