By INDIA KRUG – On Saturday, November 24, students from the IHS Marching Band arrived at the school to load their instruments and luggage onto coach buses. Upon their departure, they began the nearly 20-hour trek to Orlando, Florida– which, as expected, consisted of chatting about classes missed, grumbles about the choice of movie shown, and copious amounts of snacks.
The trip lasted six days and provided the students with enough memories to last a lifetime. They stayed at the Marriott Village and were greeted for breakfast in the morning by their peers and Mickey Mouse waffles. Junior Cecilia Sobolewski commented, “Vacationing with friends isn’t something you always get to do. I made so many great memories with some of my best friends on our band trip!”
Although students were given time to ride as many roller coasters and drink as many butterbeers as their hearts desired, they had music-related obligations as well. The band was performing in conjunction with Universal Resort’s “STARS Marching Performances,” a program for young musicians. On Monday afternoon, they prepared to be showcased in Universal’s Holiday Parade– a sea of uniforms getting zipped and instruments being tuned. They performed “A Conga Line Christmas” for vacationers lining the streets of Universal.
Junior Amelia Kuzneski shares, “Marching at a theme park like Universal Studios is an unreal experience. Parades and events are taken very seriously, and it’s interesting to get a ‘behind the scenes’ experience where each person is treated as if they’re a professional.”
The students visited three of the Disney parks as well as Universal Studios. Along with playing in a parade, the band and visual ensemble attended a music workshop and dance workshop, respectively. The music workshop called “You’re Instrumental” was led by Davy Jones, a trumpeter for Disney Performing Arts. After learning the music for Disney’s Aladdin, the band members’ performance was recorded and over-dubbed onto the original film. The band then watched the movie while hearing themselves play the background music.
Junior Nathan Birch said, “The workshop was an amazing experience! We got to work closely with a professional composer/performer from Disney, and played scores from some Disney movies like Aladdin and Tarzan. I wish we were able to play a lot longer than we did, it was a great experience.”
The excursion was coordinated by the IHS Band Boosters and Choice Music Tours, a travel agency that employs retired IHS band director Nevin Saylor, who was present for the trip. Students spent months anticipating the cost through Booster-organized fundraisers and even getting jobs. The band had the opportunity to not only grow as musicians, but grow closer to one another.
[Photo courtesy of Susan Trent-Nutter]
Photo Caption: “Junior Nathan Birch, Drum Major, leads the IHS Marching Band through Universal Studios theme park.”
India is a junior and a second year reporter for the High Arrow. High school journalism is important to her because it is dangerous to be uninformed. As a part of the High Arrow staff, she is able to grow as a writer while learning from her peers and those in the field.