Music department prepares for Disney

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By Prashi Agarwal and Vaishnavi Sriadhibhatla, Staff Reporters The music department will travel to Disney World, Orlando, for their big performance trip, happening for the first time since 2018. This trip, which is set to take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, has been the cause of excitement amongst many members of the music...

By Prashi Agarwal and Vaishnavi Sriadhibhatla, Staff Reporters

The music department will travel to Disney World, Orlando, for their big performance trip, happening for the first time since 2018. This trip, which is set to take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4, has been the cause of excitement amongst many members of the music department.

Multiple music groups will have the opportunity to meet professional movie directors, as well as march along Main Street. Students in the Conestoga music department have been meticulously preparing for their much-anticipated trip to Disney World.

Requiring hours of planning from the music department teachers, the trip also comes at a great cost for individual attendees — $1,595 per student. Students had the opportunity to fundraise as a group through concession stands at football games and events like the Cavalcade. Some also fundraised individually with ideas such as selling Wawa coupons.

Since the trip will be happening after a four-year hiatus, the experience is a first for many in the music department. Junior and saxophone section leader Cooper Ballard has been awaiting his turn to experience Disney as a part of the Marching Band.

“I’m super excited. I remember going when my brother was in Marching Band and I went down there to watch them when they marched through the Magic Kingdom parade.I was like ‘Wow, I want to do something like that,’” Ballard said. “Now that I’m actually doing it seems like ‘Oh, I finally get to do it.’ Especially after two years of COVID and all those issues we’re finally going to a big trip.”

The Conestoga Marching Band will be performing in the Main Street Parade, which occurs every day of the trip. In the past, the parade has been in the daytime; however, this year it will take place during the night.

Senior and color guard section leader Khani Valasa has been very excited for the nighttime parade.

“Doing the nighttime parade is actually such a big thing because when you do the nighttime parade, it’s like the entire park is there,” Valasa said. “In the morning, we don’t know who’s there; people sometimes come in late, but at night, everyone is there for the fireworks.”

In addition to the Marching Band, some choral ensembles will be performing in the Disney Candlelight Vigil. The Vigil includes other high schools, a professional orchestra, a celebrity narrator and experienced soloists. They will also be performing at a concert in one of the theme parks at Disney World. Other choral groups will be doing just the Disney workshop and have been meeting less often as they do not need to prepare for a performance. Freshman Sophie Wernsing is going on the Disney trip, as a member of both the Cantata and Chorale.

“I’m looking forward to the choral workshop that we’re doing, where we learn a Disney song and then we sing it and record it, played over the top of the movie,” Wernsing said.

Planning a huge trip to Disney after COVID-19 proved to be very time-consuming for the music directors.

“An incredible amount of time was spent (planning),” said Christopher Nation, one of the music directors at Conestoga. “As with any trip, there’s a lot of logistics that go into it. There’s spreadsheets and data and things like that. And with this many students, you’ve got 313 going, it’s a lot of emails and correspondence and planning.”

Each music group will be meeting regularly in November to rehearse music pieces before the trip.


Prashi Agarwal can be reached at [email protected]

Vaishnavi Sriadhibhatla can be reached at [email protected]

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