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Over spring break, 43 students from the high school music department enjoyed time at Disney World! The group traveled by deluxe motor coach overnight to arrive in sunny (and warm) Orlando, Florida. Band, orchestra, and choir students all participated in the trip, making it a truly memorable experience. The group spent three days in the theme parks there, including Disney’s Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and the Magic Kingdom. The students and chaperones enjoyed going on many different rides, sampling cuisine from around the world, and taking in world-class entertainment.

The students also had work to do, however. Each group participated in a Disney Performing Arts Workshop, a program that is recognized globally for excellence in musician training. The orchestra learned about musical excellence and created the music to accompany a scene from Beauty and the Beast. The band ended up working with the same clinician we had on our Disney trip three years ago and performed the music from the finale of Frozen. In addition to singing, Mrs. Erin Lanenga and the choir learned about choreography and voice-overs, and then they recreated the music from the beginning of the movie The Lion King.

Additionally, the band and orchestra both performed on the Melody Gardens stage at EPCOT on Wednesday. Mr. Doug Pelt and the band performed first to a full crowd of friends, family, and passers-by. They started their performance with a veiled tribute to Chicago sports with “Where the Black Hawk Soars.” The performance included a rollicking ‘gallop’ by Shostakovich and an evocative march by Prokofiev as well. The highlight of the band’s time on stage was a medley of music from the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.

Next up was the string orchestra under the direction of Mrs. Linda Fox. The orchestra gave a wonderful performance of music including a song by Coldplay and rousing renditions of “Can Can” and “Turkey in the Straw.” They performed a beautiful medley of love songs from the films Aladdin and Beauty and the Beastwhich was immediately followed by the triumphant music from Star Wars. The orchestra concluded their performance with (what else?) “It’s a Small World After All.”

The trip was a wonderful experience for all involved. We had super chaperones, Mrs. Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Marousek, who took great care of our students. The performers represented our music department and our school very well, learned a lot about becoming better musicians, and developed life-long friendships and memories!

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