High school bands take spotlight at Walt Disney World Resort
Students from three Illinois high schools packed their bags for a fun-filled and educational trip to Walt Disney World Resort where they entertained thousands of guests with their performances at Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney Springs on Dec. 27-29.
Marching bands from Round Lake High School in Round Lake, William Fremd High School in Palatine, and Fenton High School in Bensenville performed at Walt Disney World Resort. The school bands, along with their directors, paraded down iconic Main Street U.S.A. during the "Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime" preparade, with all its holiday decor, playing festive songs that captured the holiday spirit on Dec. 29. The next day, the Round Lake High School "Panther Voices" put on a dynamic show at Disney Springs, showcasing its talents to Disney guests from around the world. The Fenton High School Choir stepped into the spotlight at America Gardens Theatre at Epcot, performing as part of a traditional mass choir joined by a 50-piece live orchestra along with Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in "The Little Mermaid," narrating the story of Christmas during the Candlelight Precession on Dec. 27.
Furthermore, some of the schools experienced an educational and mentoring program through Disney Performing Arts workshops, designed to inspire them to dream big and discover a world of possibilities that will help them prepare for their future. These tailored lessons allowed the students to immerse themselves in Disney movie magic, rehearsing the scores of classic films in workshops such as "You're Instrumental" and "Disney Sings," or to learn real-world audition techniques and choreography that puts them in the spotlight of their own Disney show through dance and theater showcases.
Fenton High School Band Director Garrett George said marching down Main Street, U.S.A. was a magical experience.
"People in the crowd are videotaping us; they are excited to see some entertainment and we get to be a part of that," he said. "It was a pretty awesome thing for the kids to experience."
The three Illinois schools were selected from applicants across the nation that submitted audition tapes reviewed by world-class adjudicators, who evaluate and select schools for the opportunity to participate in a Disney Performing Arts program. Students are taken on stage and behind the scenes, where Disney theme parks become vibrant "classrooms" as they discover new techniques and pursue their passions.
The students traveled over 1,000 miles to Florida to participate in the popular Disney Performing Arts program.
Vocal, instrumental and dance ensembles from all around the world apply to perform each year as part of Disney Performing Arts at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Once selected, they are given the opportunity to perform at Disney among an international audience of theme park guests. Millions of performers have graced the stages of Disney Parks since the Disney Performing Arts program was launched more than 25 years ago.
For information, visit www.DisneyPerformingArts.com, find Disney Performing Arts on Facebook, or call (800) 603-0552.
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