Shelbi Herndon, a vocal performance major, is having an experience this year she’ll never forget – an experience that began in February of 2012 with an application.
Even though Shelbi was a freshman with hardly any experience, she completed that application, which was for a study abroad program with the University of Miami that would take place from July to August in Salzburg, Austria. The application, along with a performance CD including 3 art songs and 1 aria, and a whole lot of hope, were packed away in an envelope and sent away to Florida.
A week and a half passed, and, unbelievably, Shelbi received a letter from Miami congratulating her on her acceptance!
Now to pay for it…
$6000, not including airfare is a pretty steep hill to climb, however, she was able to raise the entire amount, which included a $500 scholarship, in ONE WEEK! But that still left airfare. I just checked Kayak.com and that is about a $2000 flight. So she went to talk to a member of the ETBU Tiger faculty/staff for advice on how to raise the money for airfare.
She went for advice, but left with the money in hand to cover the cost of the flight.
On July 9th, Shelbi flew out to Austria and returned on August 9th. In one month, she has taken master classes from famous singers, artists, pianists, conductors, and teachers from all over the world. She has seen the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Hampson, Die Zauberflote, Ariadne auf Naxos, Elina Garanca, and Placido Domingo–just to name a few. She is studying with an amazing voice teacher and has been coached by amazing professors.
Not only has she received instruction from the world’s best, she has seen many majestic, old, beautiful, amazing things while in Austria.
Shelbi had this to say (written days ago from a dorm room in Austria, “I am truly blessed. I have grown as a musician and an artist and a person. I can’t wait to be with my ETBU Fine Arts family again and share what I have learned, put my skills to the test, and just go after the school year! I’m on fire for my major and for life. This study abroad trip has truly changed my life and I’m proud to be a Tiger!”
What a story! We are so proud of Shelbi! She had many people help her, providing funds and support, but it says a lot that a freshman with little experience was able to land such an amazing opportunity! We’re so proud! GO BLUE!