The Magic of Disney Awaits the Music Department

As the year comes to a close, a certain energy reverberates throughout the LHS music department–an energy that can only be described as a Disney state-of-mind. Scheduled for the beginning of February, the four-day trip to “The Happiest Place on Earth” has been widely anticipated by students and teachers alike, as they are eager to perform, relax, and go on some rides. 

Students will be accompanied by three administrators and 11 chaperones throughout the entire trip. Day one of the trip will include early-morning flights and arrival in Orlando; students will spend the rest of the day in Hollywood Studios and see a viewing of Fantasmic in the evening. Following the show, buses will depart to the Disney All-Star Movies Hotel for check-in, where groups will settle in for the night. 

On day two of the trip, students will wear gold shirts and depart for Animal Kingdom in the morning for a special catered breakfast and First Ride access. Throughout the day, the orchestra and chorus will perform in Disney Springs at the Disney Waterside Stage, later joining the band at Magic Kingdom. Later in the evening, the marching band will perform in the Magic Kingdom Parade followed by time in the park for the rest of the evening, including watching the daily Disney Enchantment fireworks show. 

For the final day at Walt Disney World, groups will wear blue shirts and enjoy their breakfast in the hotel food court before attending their assigned Disney Performing Arts Workshop. Following the workshop, all groups will visit EPCOT and gather to view the Harmonious Nighttime Spectacular. The following morning will include breakfast in the food court and flights departing back to New York. 

Senior Kate Chiulli eagerly anticipates spending time with her fellow musicians and roommates throughout the various activities planned. She believes the trip has been worth the wait–she has looked forward to it since second grade–and is very excited to attend. On the other hand, junior Kerry Cullen wishes to go on rides most of all. “I went to Disney when I was younger, and I didn’t really go on all the fun fast rides because I was too young,” Cullen said. “So I’m very excited to do them now!” Cullen has been excited for this trip for years and wants to enjoy it with those who are “aspiring adrenaline junkies,” just like her. 

Director of Fine and Performing Arts Adrianna Schaefer cannot wait to view all performances that proudly represent LHS and observe the workshops, where students will work with professional musicians and produce a finished product, all while having fun with their friends and making music. Schaefer also believes that students will form lifelong bonds and memories on this trip with their peers. “Disney World really is a magical place, and to be able to take their gift of music and share it on a world stage at Disney, beside friends and teachers, is a wonderful opportunity they will soon not forget,” she said. Schaefer also views the students as very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Disney World, a place that supports music programs and encourages development through workshops and performances. “It is a wonderful way to celebrate the students’ tenure in the music department and their incredible talents as musicians,” Schaefer said.

Orchestra teacher Veronica Underhill looks forward to the performances for a different reason than Schaefer: “The only time I have ever been to Disney was when I was four. I remember absolutely nothing about it, so any and every performance is something I’m excited about!” She believes that many students will find value in playing in a different setting, as “there’s always a different energy in a park” and that the unique sense of family among them will help create a joyful memory of performing that they will carry with them. However, Underhill also anticipates the festivities of the trip: “Getting to go on a trip to Disney is just so much fun in its own right–and what better way to experience it than with a bunch of your friends as an escape from the dreary cold of a New York winter?” 

As for the rides, Underhill has yet to decide the key spots she wants to hit but said she will be near “anything and everything Star Wars related” and plans to look into her options over the holiday break. On the other hand, while Schaefer wishes she could claim to be a “fearless adrenaline seeker,” she admits she is not. Underhill added, “I will leave all the rides and adrenaline to the students and live vicariously through their thrill seeking. I’ll stick with ‘It’s a Small World’ and ‘The Haunted Mansion’!”