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December 27, 2013

Three Duncan grads to study music abroad

DUNCAN — Duncan High graduates and members of the band Ripple Green are looking to expand their horizons by traveling across an ocean to make music history.

Joel Parks, Lucas Gillette and Tremaine Wade, all 2011 graduates, will be studying abroad in Guildford, England, as part of their course work through the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) at the University of Central Oklahoma, which is linked to the ACM in Guildford.

The three Duncan natives have been in a band together since they were 10 years old. Some Duncan residents might know their band better by the name Fifth Story, which is what is was called throughout their high school years.

“We have the opportunity to go over to England,” Parks said. “It’s a great opportunity. None of up have been there. They look at music differently. It seems like they’re music appreciators.”

Parks leaves the United States on Saturday, while Wade and Gillette won’t depart until Jan. 2. They’ll all recollected Jan. 5 in London, before starting classes on Jan. 6.

The trio will be the first band ACM has ever had in its study abroad program. When they were high school juniors, the men toured the school they learned there was a possibility a band could study abroad with the program.

“We really just pushed,” Wade said. “The program was installed yet. We’re just trying to get the program started.”

When they first approached the study abroad program, it was uncertain how school credits would work. Parks said things have been worked out, and they will each get school credits for their participation.

They have much to look forward to on their trip, whether dealing with new professors or learning music culture in a different country.

“I’m excited for the professors and instruction over there,” Wade said. “Global awareness.”

Gillette said things in England will probably be notable different in England than in the United States. The three bandmates will be spending six months away from the United States, which will give them many opportunities to learn English customs.

“I’m excited for a change, public transportation,” Gillette said. “I’m ready for some culture shock.”

Parks’ brother, Blake, spend six months in Australia. He said Blake claimed the biggest culture shock wasn’t going to another country, but returning to his own.

“Anytime you spend outside of the country, you grow,” Parks said. “It’s definitely a different wind change. We’ll get to show our music to another country. We’ll see how they react to it.”

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