A Magical Experience

Highlands Marching Band and Variations take a trip to the most magical place on earth, Disney

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After a year of practice and hardworking, Highlands Varsity Marching Band and Variations performed at Disney World.

The group spent three days, starting out at Epcot. Epcot,  opened on October 1, 1982 and was the second of four theme parks built at Walt Disney World, after the Magic Kingdom. Epcot is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely technological innovation and international culture, and is often referred to as a “permanent world’s fair”. The park is divided into two sections: Future World, made up of eight pavilions, and World Showcase, themed to 11 world nations.

“They did a good job with the houses, recreating them,” said Carolin Eberle, a Highlands foreign exchange student and band member from Germany, when asked how visiting the Germany exhibit of Disney’s Epcot compared to her home country. “It felt like home.”

The second day was spent at Magic Kingdom, the central part of Disney World. The park is represented by Cinderella Castle, inspired by the fairy tale castle seen in the 1950 film. It is the most visited theme park in the world for twelve consecutive years and the most visited theme park in North America for at least the past eighteen years.

Erik Frantz, a student on the trip says, “I liked everything about Disney World, the parade was awesome, just getting to march down Main Street. My favorite memory was getting stuck on the Carousel of Progress in Tomorrow land, and being late to the parade!”

The Highlands Varsity Marching Band, Directed by Mr. Beresik and Co-Directed by Middle School Band Director Mr. Lin, performed at Magic Kingdom; Playing the songs: Mickey, Disney Parade Sequence, Soak Up The Sun, and Highlands Song.

“I believe music performance trips to be a significant and rewarding part of music education at Highlands, and in schools everywhere.” Mr. Beresik, band director says, “Teaching secondary music poses a variety of unique challenges and opportunities, as musicians exist in a constant atmosphere of heightened differentiation, process development, problem solving and product creation…This is where our students truly demonstrate what they know, understand and can do.

Performing for, competing against, or interacting with people from across the state, around the country, and in some cases on the other side of the globe, leaves a lasting impression on our students and helps to shape them into the leaders and citizens we need in society.” Beresik said.

The final day, the group spent in Hollywood Studios. The park is dedicated to the imagined worlds from film, television, music, and theatre, drawing inspiration from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Currently, the park remains without an official designated icon, although both The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and The Chinese Theatre are represented as such in marketing materials.

“The students are so well deserving of this experience,” said Michael Zeiler, former Disney cast member and choral director and choreographer at Highlands. “To bring the magic of Disney and the performing arts to so many students is a blessing. I always dreamt of bringing students down here (to Disney World) to perform.

“The experience, the performance, the energy and the caliber of the students performance…it was phenomenal,” Zeiler said.

During this day, The Highlands Show Choir performed the songs, Shut Up And Dance, This Is Me, What Dreams Are Made Of, and All For One.

Caleb Uhrinek, anther Highlands student says, “I really enjoyed the trains and Tower of Terror, but my favorite part of Disney was getting to spend it with my friends. Yay Highlands!”

“You can dream, create, design, and build, but it requires people to make the dream a reality.”

–Walt Disney


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