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Disney

  • New Disney Imagination Campus Curriculum to Encourage Career Exploration

    Mike Lawson | June 11, 2021Disney Parks’ new Disney Imagination Campus is making its debut at both the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California. These new educational experiences for visiting student groups are designed to inspire the students’ career ambitions with workshops, performances and special events. Read More...
  • Make Your Next Concert an Experience – Learn from the Mouse!

    Thomas Palmatier | March 6, 2021I am privileged to have a professional development relationship with several young musicians and educators (see my column in the August 2018 issue of SBO, “Be a Mentor – Get a Mentor”). For each of them there are monthly assigned readings that we both read and then discuss at our next session. I suppose as […] Read More...
  • Thanksgiving Parade of Bands Moves to Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort

    Mike Lawson | May 20, 2019

    Bob Rogers Travel (BRT) has announced that the Thanksgiving Parade of Bands at the Walt Disney World Resort will be changing locations from Epcot to Magic Kingdom Park (in front of Cinderella’s Castle), for this year’s event on November 28.

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

    Todd Rogers | 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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  • Six Decades of School Music at Disney

    Mike Lawson | September 15, 2015

    The Magic of Disney is at the heart of the creation and ongoing growth and management of its Disney Performing Arts programs from coast to coast.

    If you have noticed a lot of attention being paid to Disney in SBO lately, well, it’s for good reason. This year, 2015, marks the 60th year that Disney has engaged an impossible-to-count number of school music programs in its parks to give students unprecedented performance opportunities in front of an equally impossible-to-count audience that must number in the hundreds of millions over six decades. Like so many millions before me, I too went to the parks with my high school music program, but this was unfortunately before so many exciting opportunities existed for students at the parks. It’s a great time to be a band student making a trip to a Disney park.

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  • Planning Your Band’s Perfect Road Trip to Disney

    SBO Staff | 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.

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