Natalie Lefton to play oboe in Europe

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Monica Lefton

About a year ago, sophomore Natalie Lefton decided that she’d go to Europe this summer through Voyagers International.

In just a few weeks, sophomore Natalie Lefton will leave Decatur and travel to seven European countries over the course of 16 days.

She is traveling through Voyagers International, a group that allows American students to travel abroad while playing their instruments. Lefton plays oboe, and she’ll travel with a group of musicians from around Georgia. Since their start in 1970, Voyagers International has facilitated 100,000 students on trips like the one Lefton will make.

Her oboe teacher, Agnes Scott student Elizabeth Brashier, recommended her for the program. Participants didn’t have to audition as long as they were recommended.

Before she leaves, Lefton will spend three days practicing with the group that she will perform with. She only knows one other person she’ll be traveling with – Brashier’s father, Joe Brashier, will be directing the Georgia band.

Lefton knows more about the travel itinerary than the performances they’ll be giving along the way. They’ll land in England – from there the group will travel to France, Switzerland, Leichtenstein, Austria, and Italy. They’ll fly out of Germany. “Most of the activities are very touristy and historical,” Lefton said.

Of all the countries, Lefton is looking forward to one in particular. “I’m most excited about Leichtenstein because it’s so small and so few people get to go there,” Lefton said. “Or London – we will probably be able to see a play while we are there.”

Besides the encouragement of her oboe teacher and her parents, Lefton has a couple of reasons in particular that she has decided to embark on this adventure. “I like the uniqueness [of the program],” Lefton said. “Also, because it’s relatively uncommon, there is less competition. This is definitely the coolest thing I’ve done regarding oboe.”

Her family will keep busy while she’s gone. Her twin sister, Monica, is going to Costa Rica on a service trip while she’s in Europe. “Not too shabby,” Lefton said.