The Walled Lake Northern High School Marching Band became a part of the magic of Disney when it was given the opportunity to perform at Walt Disney World in Florida last month.
Band Director Mary Hulliberger said she tries to provide travel opportunities for the band every other year. Last summer, they applied to perform at Disney World and were accepted.
As part of the trip, April 26 to April 30, the Marching Knights had the chance to perform in the Magic Kingdom Electric Light Parade on Main Street USA, which Hulliberger said was an amazing experience for the students.
“My favorite part is when we were marching in the Light Parade, and we were turning onto Main Street in Disney World and seeing the castle light up in all the different colors. That was my favorite part,” said sophomore Alexa Mazur, a sophomore who plays the alto saxophone.
They also were able to take part in a workshop program called “You’re Instrumental.”
“During this workshop, our musicians worked with a Disney artist who was a composer for some of the music found in the parks around the world,” Hulliberger said. “He worked with them as if they were studio musicians, stressing the importance of learning your craft to the best of your abilities and connecting with your fellow musicians to create your best performance. At the conclusion of the workshop our students performed a scene from ‘The Lion King.’ This music was synched with the actual feature film footage. It was a tremendous experience for our kids.”
Freshman Emma Fagan, who plays the Sousaphone, said she was impressed by the workshop.
“My favorite part was when we went into the workshop because it inspired me to be a professional musician,” she said.
While the trip required fund-raising, help from parents, and a lot of hard work, it was a trip to be remembered, according to Hulliberger.
“It was a lifetime memory, and we are still talking about how awesome the entire trip was,” she said. “With the amount of time that the band spends together, we really are a family. For the seniors, this was the culmination of four great years in our program and the freshmen will look forward to carrying on their legacy.”