On March 2, the Lakeland High School Symphonic Band earned straight Excellent ratings for its stage performance at the FBA District Music Performance Assessment. Along with the straight Excellent ratings, the group also earned a Superior in sight-reading. The Wind Symphony earned straight Superiors for its stage performance and sight-reading. In addition, a Superior was earned by Jordan Ruhl, senior, for his student conductor performance. While the groups competed successfully, that performance is not the only one the Band has this month.
With a few weeks left until they depart for New York, the Dreadnaught band prepares for the trip of a lifetime. A few weeks back, Director of Bands Brad Wharton, held a mandatory meeting for any band member going on this trip. The topics that filled the air were mostly the basic “need to knows.” He also addressed what the band will be seeing while there and how touring/chaperoned groups will be set up.
He discussed how the flights will work and how the touring groups will be set up.
On March 5, Wharton held another meeting explaining in detail what will take place at the airport, how the day will work with the tour guides, chaperone groups, and what is expected of the students. Students are expected to treat the tour guides and the chaperones as if they were Wharton – with respect.
To attend this trip, each student and chaperon paid $1,300, and more if they wanted a double room. The students and chaperons had fundraising opportunities to assist with the associated costs, such as hat drops at local Publix stores, selling Outback tickets, and selling candy. This trip will begin the Thursday of Spring Break and end when the band returns early Monday morning.
For Kelly Bertram, junior, this will be another trip to the Big Apple. ”Well I liked the Broadway Show and the food NYC has,” Bertram said.
For many of the students, this will be their first time in New York City. That is one thing Wharton looks forward to when the band goes on trip like this.
“The most exciting thing is taking a group by plane to a place where a lot of them haven’t been before,” Wharton said.
Kevin McKinney, senior, is one of those students who will see New York for the first time.
“I’m most excited about seeing the Green River because they only dye it once a year for St. Patrick’s Day,” McKinney said.
While in New York, the group will see two Broadway shows, Wicked and Spiderman or Phantom of the Opera, tour the Lincoln Center or Radio City Music Hall, and be a part of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
Of course, it won’t be all fun and tourist attractions. The band is going to New York to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The band will be 86 members strong for this performance and will perform “Anchors Away” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling,” arranged by Jimmy Parker. They will also perform to two drum cadences.
Every four years the band gets the opportunity to perform out- of- state. In years past, the band has performed in places such as Washington and New York. Events like this are important for the band because it add tradition and memories for the members.
“I’m just hoping for the experience of a lifetime,” Abigail Kreul, sophomore, said. “I’ll be exploring new places with great people”, Kreul added.