WSHS Band and Choir go to Disney

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Leah Beyer, Staff Writer

The West Salem Marching Band and Choir recently went on a six day trip to Disney World, leaving Wednesday March 16th and arriving back home on Monday the 21st. The trip included marching in a parade through Magic Kingdom, three days in the Disney parks, and a day at Universal Parks. Students also swam at the Mighty Ducks pool, ate at the All Star Movie food court, and rode Disney buses, Skyliners, and the Monorail.

It was a special trip for juniors and seniors, as it was the juniors only band or choir trip and a last senior hurrah for the graduating class. Senior David Silbaugh said, “It was better than a senior trip,” and, “it was amazing to feel all my years of marching coming to a close in the most magical place on earth with my friends. I mean come on, what’s a better way to end my marching career?”

Junior Anthony Balboa, said, “I think just being able to hang out with my friends and not having to worry about school for like a good few days, that was probably the best part about it.” 

The band and choir also had the opportunity to see a little of Disney Imagination Campus behind the scenes when they prepared to march in the parade and perform on the venue. Balboa said, “It was very interesting. I remember as a kid going to Disneyland over in California,and I always wondered ‘how did they manage to do all this really cool stuff?’ and seeing all the behind the scenes and all that? It was pretty interesting.”

Silbaugh said, “It was weird, I’ve been to Disney multiple times and seeing just a glimpse of behind the scenes was super cool!” The band and choir members received an ‘Imagination Campus’ pin as well as ‘Performing Arts’ mouse ear hats.

Some students were at Disney World for the first time, others had been before. Many students were impressed with the immersiveness of the themed areas, including Galaxy’s Edge, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Hogsmede and Diagon Alley in Universal.

When asked about the importance of this trip, Dave Kies, the band director, said, “For a lot of kids its the only time they’ll ever go to Disney World, or Florida, [for] some of them ever leave the state, [we] give them that opportunity, it’s a great way to step out of your little box that you’re in.” Both Kies and Amy Hanson, the choir director, said the trip teaches the students skills beyond the band and choir room.

Hanson said, “You learn a lot of life skills, actually, learning how to get along with people on the long bus rides, time management, how to manage your money, all of those things.” Hanson also said mentioned the sense of pride the band and choir students have performing and representing their school for a global audience. 

“Not all of our kids are athletes, not all of our kids are involved on other things,” says Hanson. “This is their thing, and … there was a lot of pride being a marching panther in front of people from all over the world.”