The Official Newspaper Website of Brewster High School

Brewster Bear Facts

The Official Newspaper Website of Brewster High School

Brewster Bear Facts

The Official Newspaper Website of Brewster High School

Brewster Bear Facts

Marching Band Makes Magic Happen in Disney’s Kingdom

Despite the rain, BHS students brought rhythm to Main Street

You’ve probably heard by now that back in February, our very own Brewster High School Marching Band went to Disney and marched down Main Street, USA, in the Magic Kingdom. We were very honored to play in front of the big mouse himself, but the rest of the trip was just as magical, and here is some insight as to what it was like to visit Disney with the school.

It all started over a year prior to the actual performance. After COVID, the marching band, like most clubs, was low in numbers. We were able to recruit a number of middle schoolers and begin the long, trying process of growing them as musicians and guardsmen. Through freezing winter rehearsals ending at 8:30 p.m. to six-hour-long rehearsals over the summer, just after a heat advisory, the marching band pushed thr

ough and drilled marching and playing. We continued past when our fall season would traditionally end in October through February, when we performed, getting the songs up to tempo, interrupting night classes in the school when marching through the halls nonstop, and drilling choreography. When COVID hit, the Marching Band had been gearing up to perform in Italy in the New Year’s Day parade, but the trip was canceled in March when the pandemic was declared. Finally, after almost four years, we had the numbers, the skill, and the support needed to embark on a different large trip.

On the first day, we woke up at the beautiful hour of 2:00 a.m., boarding the bus to the airport. All of our major stuff, like luggage and our instruments and flag bag, had been driven to Florida by a parent volunteer (thank you, Mr. Anderson), so the students only had to worry about our carry-ons. Going through the airport was a little rough, especially since some of us had never been to an airport before. (For me personally, I was fighting with my shoes in TSA.) Eventually, the band made our way to the waiting area and went off to have our first meal of the day. The board called us, and we were on our way over to Georgia. Many people slept on the plane, for good reason, too. If you couldn’t sleep on the bus or the two planes, you were in for a 20-hour-long day. After our layover from Georgia to Florida, the group made its way straight to the park.

Our first stop was Hollywood Studios which consisted of areas such as Toy Story Land, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and Hollywood Boulevard. The group then scattered around from there, going on rides, meeting characters, and immersing themselves in Disney. My group ended up on the Millennium Falcon ride about five times because we didn’t understand the layout. Brewster then reconvened at the end of the night at PizzeRizzo for a lovely Italian dinner buffet, provided by the Disney staff. It was really kind of them to close the restaurant for us to eat. After that, the band rode the Millennium Falcon experience together in groups, which had a team guide a stowaway smuggler back to their base. After that, the band’s last event together for the first day was Disney’s Fantasmic, a musical projected onto the water. It truly was wonderful to watch it unfold. The music, the actors, and the effects were really beautiful, and watching it with our peers made it even better.

After a quick snooze, our second day started—this time we were in the Magic Kingdom!

This is Disney’s main park, which consists of Tomorrowland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Frontierland, and Main Street. Our band took the ferry over to the park, where we were then allowed to roam and meet up to perform. Unfortunately, the lovely land that is Florida decided to give us a torrential downpour. We were freezing and wet, mostly going on rides to seek sanctuary from the weather that we were unprepared for. After a few hours of exploring, the band was getting ready for our big moment. We were guided by Disney staff backstage, totally off-limits to public view. While there wasn’t much back there, it did feel like a bit of 4th wall breaking. BHS made our way to a closed-off area, far enough away from the park for the band to practice as much as we needed. After frantically changing into our uniforms, setting up instruments, and unfurling flags, we warmed up and practiced once or twice. Finally, Disney congratulated us on our achievement: we were going to play on one of the most world-renowned parading streets, right next to 34th Street and 5th Avenue. We were announced, as were the bands before us, but according to staff, they saved the best for last. We marched back up to the park, and as the gates opened, we strongly played the first chord of “Give Me Everything Tonight” by Pitbull. While not the most conventional parading song, we stood out. We played bright, walking slowly to take in the moment. People from all over the park—and, as we were told, the world—had their eyes on the band as we marched in front of Cinderella’s castle. Although we were loud, a bit of quiet realization could be felt in every person. It was a special moment, for sure.

The band circled around, and the staff led us backstage once more, where the band took pictures in our sopping wet uniforms as we repacked. I’m sure that the band, especially the seniors, knows that when we chanted “Eyes of Pride” at the end of it all, it was bittersweet. We enjoyed the rest of the day at the Kingdom watching the park’s fireworks show with its very fitting title, “Happily Ever After.”

The next morning, the band went over for our first day at Universal Studios. It was still rainy, but today was bearable. While Disney definitely had the magic, Universal was a little more of the band’s age with roller coasters, whereas Disney had rides. The band didn’t have any plans together for Universal, so we all went our separate ways and enjoyed a lot of the fun rides. Over the two day period, we all explored a great number of rides and different experiences, as well as trying out different restaurants. That second day at Universal was a lot of about the same level of freedom, but the weather was much better. It was unfortunate, being that the only really nice day was the last, but it was fun nonetheless.

Finally, the band packed their carry-ons and boarded the bus for home. They traveled from the hotel back to the airport for another two flights home. Instruments, uniforms, and guard equipment were unloaded and unloaded back into the school, and while the trip was extremely fun, we were all ready to get some real rest.

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