One young man’s musical talents have bought him a ticket across the world.
Ryan Packard, a 22-year-old Dawson County High School graduate, left last week for Asia, where he will tour the continent with fellow students from an Ohio music college.
Over the next two weeks, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music will tour six Asian cities including Beijing, Shangai and Singapore.
Essentially a traveling orchestra, the Oberlin Conservatory was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.
Packard — a percussionist — said he’s proud to be a part of the musicians’ group.
“Orchestra is a really beautiful communication amongst musicians,” he said. “It’s an exciting experience to be playing music with so many people and making such great sounds.”
Packard discovered his love for playing drums at Dawson County Middle School years ago.
“Since then, I’ve been drawn to percussion and all the elements of percussion,” he said. “Middle school band is what did it for me.”
It will be his first time in Asia, but he hopes it won’t be his last.
“Hopefully, these opportunities will keep coming at me, because I’d love to keep traveling and playing music. It’s my dream.”
According to the Oberlin Conservatory’s division of conducting and ensembles Maestro Timothy Weiss, the tour is “a critical step in the students’ artistic development. To put your skills on the line and play at the highest level night after night while standing up to the rigors of foreign travel and performing in unfamiliar halls is a great professional experience.”
According to Weiss, students will perform in the style of Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s concerts.