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  • Competition: Inside the Mind of the Adjudicator

    Andrew J. Allen | September 8, 2016

    As the fall semester draws to an end, many students and directors are turning their musical efforts to the preparations necessary for concert festival and solo and ensemble contests. In the coming months, many groups and individual young people will perform for mysterious people who are busy scribbling furiously on adjudication sheets.

  • Festivals: Not Just for Music Majors Encouraging Lifelong Musicianship

    Tom Merrill | August 15, 2016

    It was the one thing I remember from my first meeting with my college engineering counselor. “You don’t have time for band.”

  • Don’t Let The Job Kill You

    Tom Merrill | July 13, 2016

    Do you remember the story of Jean-Baptiste Lully from music history class? (You WERE paying attention in music history class, right?) A French composer of the Baroque Period, he was also one of the world’s first conductors. And in 1687 the job killed him.

  • The Undeniable Benefits of Band and Orchestra Trips

    Tori Cook | June 14, 2016

    As a choir director and employee at a music travel company, I can say without a doubt that every traveling ensemble undergoes a transformation at the end of the tour that enhances their music program on both a group and individual level.

  • Cedar Fair Entertainment and the Benefits of Playing Local

    Mike Lawson | June 14, 2016

    There’s no doubt that band travel is a big recruitment tool for band directors. Cedar Fair Entertainment Company owns and operates 11 parks throughout North America.

  • Travel Survey

    Mike Lawson | June 14, 2016

  • Closer to Home

    Tom Merrill | June 14, 2016

    It’s a phrase I’ve heard countless times: “It’s our big trip year.”

  • Justifying a performance trip to the Walt Disney World Resort

    Todd Rogers | October 22, 2015

    Editor’s Note: Our September issue cover feature, “UpClose: Six Decades of School Music at Disney,” spotlights the Disney Performing Arts programs and the multi-generational tradition of value associated with their workshops, festival competitions, and performance opportunities.

  • ’But it’s a theme park…’ – Justifying a performance trip to the Walt Disney World Resort

    Todd Rogers - Bob Rogers Travel | September 15, 2015

    It doesn’t look like much on paper, and if you have never been there with a student group, explaining that a trip to a theme park is educational can be quite a challenge. We know that the terms “fun” and “educational” are not mutually exclusive, but you may encounter an administrator, parent or school board member who sees your endeavor as a waste of resources. This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially if your plans are taking you to the Walt Disney World® Resort. Here’s what you should know to help you justify a performance trip to The Most Magical Place on Earth:

    First, it’s important to remember that every performance trip has educational value. Whether you choose some of the world’s most beloved theme parks in Central Florida, a regional park closer to home, or a trip which doesn’t include theme parks at all, your students will come away with life experiences that can’t be delivered in the classroom. Performing in a new, unfamiliar venue shows your students how to adapt to changes and deliver results. The experience fosters a sense of teamwork and camaraderie within your members.

    Taking your students “out of the bubble” of their day-to-day lives expands their horizons beyond what is familiar to them, encourages them to build stronger bonds with peers (and with you, their educator), and exposes them to a performance audience beyond the doting families to which they are accustomed. The responsibility of showing up on time, remembering black socks, and managing one’s own souvenir or meal money is a significant step toward the independence your students will need in their adult life.

    While nearly every destination – across the country or around the world – provides these learning experiences, there are certainly destinations which deliver a top-quality educational travel experience consistently. Topping my list: the Walt Disney World® Resort.

  • Planning Your Band’s Perfect Road Trip to Disney

    Mike Lawson | August 14, 2015

    Mere days before its big trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, a Missouri high school marching band was excited about its upcoming Disney Performing Arts program experience. After all, the band members had been planning and preparing for months, picking and choosing just the right music to perform, then rehearsing it over and over. Then there was all the time they spent building their itinerary, booking travel arrangements and just generally getting excited about visiting the “most magical place on Earth’’ and performing in front of an international audience of thousands. Indeed they had everything planned down to the last detail.

    Well, almost.

    Just as the group arrived at the backstage area at Disney about an hour before they were scheduled to perform, they made a shocking discovery.  As they loaded their instruments and uniforms off the bus and into the changing room, they realized two members had forgotten their shoes and another, her tuba. That’s when the Disney Performing Arts team sprang into action, scrambling to find a spare pair of shoes and, magically, a spare tuba.

  • The Insider’s Guide to Iceland’s Band and Orchestra Performance Venues

    Tori Cook | June 11, 2015

    Harpa Concert HallIceland is a relatively young island, only 15-18 million years old, making its geological activity one-of-a-kind. But more than geology, it is also young in hosting performance tours for U.S. visitors. Sure, it’s becoming more popular, but relatively speaking it hasn’t really branched out as a top-of-the mind performance tour destination — yet. Though, you might be surprised to find that it actually has one of the best concert halls in the world and offers many other excellent venues for traveling bands. Here’s the inside scoop:

  • On the Road: Norman High School Band

    Joel Deardorf | January 3, 2015

    The Norman High School Band was heading to a state regional marching contest when one of our charter buses caught fire about 30 miles from our destination. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. We safely removed all of the students from the bus and within minutes it was burned to the ground. The students voted that the show would go on, and chose to perform without uniforms, using borrowed instruments. In spite of this tragedy, the band performed and received superior ratings. We saved a hubcap from the bus and it is now mounted in the band building. It serves as a reminder that a bad situation turned good and that our band family persevered.

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