by Narjes Albakshy
Michael Eback, a freshman majoring in music industry, received a hefty package in the mail at his West Fargo home. Confused at what the contents might be, he took it to his mother, Ellen Archambeau. Together, they opened the package and found a huge stack of papers, packets and forms. They also found a congratulatory letter from the governor of North Dakota. Overcome with joy and surprise, Eback and his mother had to double-check the authenticity of the letters to let the news sink in.
Eback had been nominated and granted the opportunity to join the annual Northern Ambassador’s European Musical Tour for the summer of 2015. Among the different segments of the concert, including orchestra and jazz, Eback will be a part of the choir.
“It’s amazing. It’s really hard to even explain,” Archambeau said. “He’s just been so passionate about life and about music even since he was little. To see his dream actually come true is what any parent wants for their kid.”
A group of two hundred students from the upper Midwest, all under the age of 21, are going to seven countries around Europe for 16 days.
The countries toured include England, France, Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria, Italy, and Germany.
Considering that Eback has yet to apply for a passport, he is excited to explore another part of the world.
“It will be cool to meet some knarly people,” Eback said. “To experience how different people are in different places and to experience different cultures.”
Eback is looking forward to the intense rehearsals before the concerts as an opportunity to learn and broaden his musical abilities.
When Eback is not singing with the choir, he is his alter-ego Delak, bass vocalist for Split Souls, a band he founded with a childhood friend a few years ago. Eback sings, writes and composes punk, rap, and metal music.
“The way I see it, the bigger variety you have in your musical talents, the better it gets,” Eback said. “Even though I’m singing choral music and classical stuff, I feel like it can help me with my punk rock edgy music. It’s a trip, but I like it.”
Eback plans big. Between university courses, polishing his newly acquired piano skills, collaborating with local artists, working with his producer on a mix tape, rehearsing, and planning a band tour for Split Souls in the summer, Eback struggles to find time for it all.
In addition, he is working on raising money to sponsor his summer trip. The Northern Ambassador Tour costs students approximately $7,000 to cover travel, board and food costs abroad.
This has led Archambeau to find creative ways to raise funds for her son.
“She’s a super lady,” Eback said.
“I was going on sites to see what other people had been doing for fundraising,” Archambeau says. “I happened to stumble upon Yankee Candles fundraising sites. It was a by-accident chance of finding them. We are grateful for that.”
Supporters of Eback sell Yankee Candles or can use a coupon code online to purchase candles, allowing him to keep 40 percent of profits for the trip.
Archambeau is also holding a craft show at Clay County Family Service Center Nov. 2.
“His grandma made some items, and Michael and I have made some items for the craft show,” Archambeau said. “If we’re still short, we’re thinking of putting a silent auction together.”
Eback’s net of support got him to where he is today.
“My family is absolutely supportive,” he said. “My mom was telling me ever since I was little, ‘do what you want to do in life,’ and I’ve taken that to heart.”
His raw talent, dedication and passion for music have opened up opportunities that have set him off in the right direction.
With his trusty red and white bass guitar, a future bachelor’s degree in music industry, diverse musical abilities, and the upcoming European tour, Eback is all about that bass, choir, and everything in between.