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  • The Long Game: Multi-Year Planning

    Tom Merrill | November 11, 2016

    Living in the northern Chicago suburbs, I’m a proud Chicago Cubs fan. And as I write this, they are poised to possibly win their first World Series in over a century.

  • The Benefits of a Performance Event While on a Music Tour

    Tom Merrill | October 6, 2016

    Tom MerrillWe lived in the Boulder, Colorado, area for nearly 15 years. If you’ve ever been there, you know that it is a bit of an eclectic place. Legally now.

  • The Benefits of Staying on Both Sides of the Podium

    Tom Merrill | September 8, 2016

    Many of us have just completed another summer of performing in community summer bands or orchestras— the once per week, concert in the park ensembles that play a wide variety of repertoire.

  • 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.

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