Alyvia BruceAlyvia Bruce was only 6 years old when she made her mind up that she was going to be in the Charlotte High School band. She didn’t even care what instrument she played. She was certain, after seeing her first CHS Band Bounce, she was going to make music one day.
Now 14 and on the verge of accomplishing a goal eight years in the making, music is taking Alyvia places she hadn’t dreamed as a child. An accomplished alto saxophone player, she is currently taking part in CHS pre-band camp only a few days removed from a whirlwind tour with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Exchange Program.
Alyvia was one of 60 teens from across the United States selected to perform with the Blue Lake International Northern Winds band throughout Germany this past June and July. The band performed seven concerts throughout Germany and Denmark over the course of three weeks.
“It surpassed all my expectations, it was really great,” Alyvia said. “I actually didn’t know what to expect. I had never been to Europe or away from home for a month. It was amazing, if I get the chance to go back, I definitely will.”
Alyvia auditioned for the spot in the band in the summer of 2014. She had camped at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp two summers prior making the International Exchange Program. She received the Camper Award during her session in 2014, which earned her a scholarship towards the trip to Europe.
The rest of the funds came from donations from friends, family and community organizations. She mailed letters to community service organizations in Charlotte, receiving donations from the Kiwanis Club, Optimist Club, Charlotte Band Boosters, GFWC- Charlotte, and members of First Congregational Church.
“The community was very generous in their support,” said Kim Bruce, Alyvia’s “nanna.”
While touring a foreign land playing music was exciting, Alyvia also enjoyed getting close to her band mates as well the different host families she stayed with in Germany.
“It was interesting, most of them did not speak any English,” she said. “But, the language barrier is not as big as you’d think it would be. You find ways to make it work.”
The band departed for France from O’Hare Airport on June 19 and returned July 11. After a couple of days home, she returned to her band mates for one final concert series in West Michigan.
“In the end so sad to say goodbye,” Alyvia said.
She now joins her new band mates — ones she will become more familiar with over the course of her four-year high school career.
Alyvia is the daughter of Angie Bruce and granddaughter of Kim and Randy Bruce.