By DIANA ZHANG
During this past Spring Break, University High School’s (UHS) band department traveled to Florida and the Bahamas to gain new musical experience. Every two to three years, the band takes an educational trip to the Bahamas or Hawaii. These trips provide educational opportunities to band and color guard members to improve as musicians and work on their playing and guard skills. Past trips have usually been for a competition, whereas this year’s trip was solely for self-improvement and enjoyment.
The eight-day trip included four days in Florida, where students were able to explore the parks of Walt Disney World and Universal Studios, and a three-day cruise to the Bahaman islands of Nassau and Cocokey. Students attended a musical workshop at Disney’s Performing Arts Studios and worked with an actual Disney performer. The band played multiple pieces from Disney movies and had the opportunity to record a song from The Lion King and match it with a clip from the movie. Color guard members were able to attend a mock Disney audition and a guard workshop as well.
Color guard member Jenny Ji (So.) said of the trip, “We got to learn a lot of new things and were exposed to many types of equipment that we’ve never even heard of before. It was pretty cool.”
Band members were also given the opportunity to give a performance on the cruise ship, where an adjudicator provided the students with helpful feedback. Trumpet player Jason Thai (Jr.) said, “I think we were given a bigger perspective on music because being able to get feedback from someone of a different background opens us up to areas of improvement we never thought of.”
Flute player Dorothy Xu (So.) said, “through this trip, I was able to spend more time with my family. This band is my family and it defines who I am. It has taught me to be the person I am today and I am grateful for that. I love them all. Being able to spend an entire week with them was like a dream come true.”
Unfortunately, due to the large amount of time necessary to plan and arrange the trip, Mr. Heddon (Music Dept.), the band director, decided this year that the program will only take place every four years instead of two. The next band excursion is slated to take place in Hawaii in 2019.