When her daughter attended the International Children's Choral Festival with the Kentucky Youth Chorale in 2016, Kim Norton said she could see the impact the experience had on her singing ability.

That's why when the opportunity arose for her daughter Elaina to return to the festival this year, Norton wanted her to attend, and to also send her son, Seth, who also sings with KYC.

The students will be leaving July 20 to attend the festival, which will take place in England.

Norton said the impact the festival conductors had on the children was remarkable.

"They inspired something in these children that made them want to perform and give back," she said. "(The experience) encouraged them and made them excited."

Elaina Norton said the experience was unforgettable when she attended the festival previously, and she looks forward to the event this year. Her favorite part was the chance to meet as a choir with some of the world's foremost choir conductors.

David Flood, of the Canterbury Boy's Choir, will be conducting the festival that takes place at the Canterbury Cathedral.

Elaina Norton said her first experience at the festival was very educational, and she looks forward to how this experience will help her grow as a singer.

"I feel like going back the second time is going to help," she said. "I was younger last time, and going back this time is definitely going to help me be more aware of not just the new things they teach us, but remembering what they taught us last time, and how I've used it since then."

Julie White, choir director of the KYC, said the group will also be singing in Southwark Cathedral, where William Shakespeare used to attend church. This trip will also be an opportunity for students to tour London and see notable sights, and they will take in a production of the Broadway show "Wicked."

White has taken students to participate in this festival two times before, once in 2011 and the 2016 trip. Each time she goes, she takes a new group of students. The International Children's Choral Festival is a unique experience for kids who participate, she said.

"This is an invitation-only event where choirs from around the world participate," she said. "It gives students a unique perspective having the chance to be alongside children from other countries."

She also said having the chance to sing in Canterbury Cathedral is "a once in a lifetime experience."

The group will present a "send-off" concert 2 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, where the public can have a chance to see them before they travel across the pond.

For more information about the Kentucky Youth Chorale visit kentuckyyouthchorale.org.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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