JHS band returns from performing in Disney WorldThe Jamestown High School marching band returned recently from the trip of a lifetime — marching and playing through the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown High School marching band returned recently from the trip of a lifetime — marching and playing through the Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
Fifty members of the band returned to Jamestown early Thursday morning after playing and touring some of the nation’s most popular theme parks.
“It was a great experience to play in front of lots of people from around the world,” said Brandon Bondley, director of the band.
The band marched on Dec. 30 in Orlando, Fla., after fundraising to cover the cost of the trip throughout the year. A few students covered the entire cost of the trip, roughly $800 per student, through fundraising.
“Every student got the profit they made to put towards their payment of the trip,” Bondley said.
Aside from selling pizzas, produce, magazines and cookie dough, the group also had to practice to get the routine down.
Marchers spent a week last summer going through nine hours of practice every day, three in the morning, three in the afternoon and three at night.
The band takes advantage of the summer weather, as marching in below-freezing temperatures isn’t something everyone enjoys.
“We practiced quite a bit on weekends and stuff,” said Alex Igl, a junior drum major “It takes quite a bit of practice. You can see the improvement from when it first started to the actual performance. I think we did a really nice job.”
The band sent in a DVD of it performing and was approved by Magic Kingdom officials last summer to perform in December.
Bondley said the group did well.
“The band was very excited the morning of our performance, they wanted to do well and they were very focused,” he said.
As the drum major, Igl led the band at Disney World. The band played the Sam & Dave soul tune “Hold On, I’m Coming,” along with “Hunk a Funk” on drums.
The band’s route was about 12 to 15 minutes of marching. Bondley said he selected the songs because the tempo and cadence were similar. Members of the band also played from memory and weren’t allowed to use sheet music during the performance.
“It was a lot of fun, the band sounded really good and there were a lot of people there,” Igl said.
The band also got to experience rides and attractions as tourists. It visited The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
“I got over my fear of rollercoasters, that was fun and then you see your face when they took a picture of us,” said Mary Joy, a senior trumpet player.
If accepted to perform again, the band won’t return to Orlando until 2014, as it takes one trip every other year.
Fundraising aside, students said the band experience was one they will remember — including the two days on a bus it took to get there.
“It’s a lot of fun and you have a lot of really great experiences doing it, like these trips,” Igl said. “You make a lot of friends and have opportunities to go places.”
Joy agreed that JHS marching band was a good experience.
“You get a lot out of it, more than you can really explain,” she said. “You get relationships with other people and you learn a lot from other people.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org