At the age of 12, Stuart Ambrose has done it all. He has traveled around the world and seen both glasnost and the intifada first-hand. He's performed in nearly 200 concerts in places from former West Berlin to the Western Wall. Encouraged by his brother, College sophomore Michael Ambrose and a friend, Stuart, a seventh grader at the Haverford School, began playing trumpet in the band at the beginning of the semester. Penn Band conductor Claude White said that although the band traditionally been limited to University students, they had no objection to Stuart's addition. "He's completely at home in the group," said White. "He's a very mature person." Stuart's age did, however, present a problem when he had to fill out some paperwork for the band and he did not know what to put for his year of graduation. Some quick calculation provided the answer. "[I] put 'class of 2000,' " explained Stuart, who will graduate college 10 years from now. "It's really neat." In addition to playing the trumpet, Ambrose sings with the Philadelphia Boys' Choir. "Music is such a way to express yourself," he said. "Sometimes you want to break out singing." Although Stuart has observed some of the band's social life at the University, he said he has never tried alcohol. "My brother and my father and my mother say 'You'd better not touch it or you're dead,' " he said energetically. "I wouldn't touch it, anyway." Band members said this week that they welcome the youngest addition to their group adding that they admire his courage and dedication. "He's probably the only person in the band who goes home and practices," said Paul Luongo, a College sophomore. "His mother says she heard The Red and the Blue continuously for eight days." But Stuart, who at 5-foot, eight inches tall, towers over several other members, fits in well with the band. "He's taller than half the flute section," added Luongo, who first suggested that Stuart join the band. "Most people don't even know [Ambrose's age]," said Band President Michael Brose. "They just think he's a freshman." Ambrose said he hopes to continue playing with the band. "To think, if I like it, and if I go to Penn, I could be in it for nine years," he exclaimed. If he does attend the University -- which he said he would like to do -- Ambrose will be well prepared to handle several issues, such as diversity, that currently face the campus. He said his trip with the Boys' Choir to the Soviet Union, for instance, taught him that people around the world have common interests. "The people were nice," he mused. "They're just like us. They just don't have all the things we do." But despite warm receptions he's around the world, he was still surprised at the kindness of other band members. "You'd think that they wouldn't pay any attention, but they've been really nice," said Ambrose. "They listen to my questions."Comments powered by Disqus
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