A trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida proved both pleasurable and memorable for the Huntington High School Blue Devil marching band.
The teenagers spent their mid-winter recess refining their musical and performance skills and marching down Main Street USA, to the obvious enjoyment of those lining the thoroughfare.
The trip stretched from Monday to Thursday. Students returned to Huntington feeling tired, but happy. In addition to the Disney workshops, “You’re Instrumental” and “Auxiliration” and marching in a parade, the group was able to explore most of what the complex has to offer, including Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. The group even took in a fireworks show.
The 106 musicians and color guard members along with 10 staff members flew on Jet Blue out of JFK Airport and stayed at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort.
“Going to Disney was a really great trip,” junior Christiana DeLuca said. “It was nice to go with the band and spend more time with everyone following the end of a championship season.”
The band marched in its own parade on Wednesday afternoon, streaming along the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street. The Blue Devils were decked out in full uniforms and along with the backdrop of Disney’s soaring buildings, the band made for an impressive sight.
The Huntington band was led at Disney by four outstanding musicians. Katie Riley, Mardnie Mentor and Jamie Rosenbauer are the Blue Devils’ drum majors. Adina Kirkland is the field major.
“Despite the Florida heat, our band brought its Blue Devil pride to Disney World,” Ms. Riley said. “Having the castle as our backdrop while parading down Main Street was truly a ‘magical’ experience. And seeing vacationers lining the sidewalks and filming us while we marched was something I’ll never forget. Not every high school band gets the chance to march at Disney World. I feel very lucky and grateful to have had the opportunity.”
A pair of 2½ hour workshops broadened the creative horizons for the Huntington contingent. Band members had an opportunity to perform as if they were actual Disney musicians, playing a soundtrack for a Disney movie in a real recording studio environment.
Members of the Blue Devil color guard enjoyed learning a dance routine during a specialized workshop session that included a mock Disney audition.
“The trip was a good mix of work and play,” said Jennifer Schmelter, the Blue Devil band’s assistant director. “The instrumental and color guard workshops were great and the parade was an amazing experience for our students.”
Band members have been looking forward to the trip for many months. It didn’t disappoint them. Disney staff members and the crowd in the Magic Kingdom the day of the parade were equally impressed by the Blue Devils.