Don’t be surprised if you hear SHS band students whistling or humming some familiar Disney tunes-such as “Under the Sea” or the theme from “Pirates of the Caribbean”. Those popular melodies are just two of the many tunes that symphonic and jazz band members played during their May 2-5 trip to Disneyland.
After three and a half days in Southern California, a weary group of 39 students, five chaperones and one director rolled into town at 11 p.m. on May 5 after a whirlwind trip to Los Angeles. They have plenty of memories to savor in the days to come.
The trip to the Magical Kingdom (based on submission of an audition tape) is designed to introduce young musicians to the lifestyle of studio musicians.
“Students read music they’ve never before seen and record it, drawing on all the skills they’ve polished during their school year,” explained Bruce Folmer, SHSD Band Director. The end result, he said, was “the most rewarding.”
“There were so many compliments (to our students) from the Disney people, clinicians, hotel personnel, flight attendants and chaperones about the students’ behavior, musical ability, appearance and performances,” said Mr. Folmer, that it would take several pages to outline them all.”
“This was my third trip with a group to the Magical Kingdom. The group sounded and looked great.
“The chaperones and I had the pleasure of watching a group of young ladies and gentlemen grow musically and become very close in this trip,” Mr. Folmer added.
“This was about as perfect a field trip as one could hope for. It made all those hours of work preparing for it worthwhile.”
Besides participating in several Disneyland recording sessions, there was the traditional tour of Los Angeles: from the Walk of the Stars and the Farmers Market to shopping in Beverly Hills before returning to Washington State.
The band left Steilacoom at 4 a.m. on May 2 (very early for anyone not delivering papers or making donuts!) A yellow limousine (aka a school bus) transported them to SeaTac where they boarded UA for LA.
After arriving in sunny California, they headed to Disneyland and embarked on a seeming non-stop schedule of rehearsals and performances. At the conclusion they received a DVD of their perfomance: coordinated with scenes from Disney videos, with the SHS band providing the background music. Students later enjoyed a recording studio workshop with Sal Lozano, alto saxophonist with “Dances with the Stars” and “American Idol”.
Later they enjoyed the “Medieval Times Restaurant and Jousting Tournament” where they demonstrated just how loudly they could yell for their favorite knights.
The final day’s performance (10:30 a.m. on Friday) was, in Mr. Folmer’s opinion, “their best,” despite the hectic pace of the previous days’ activities.
Come hear these talented musicians live on Thursday, May 31 in Pioneer Park (6 p.m.) and also on Tuesday, June 5 at the Jazz Night in the Big Apple (at SHS Commons. Reservations are recommended for this event).