By Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Madison High School Marching Band is hoping the ongoing pandemic will not disrupt its plans to perform at Disney World in Florida this spring.
“We are all very aware of the current COVID conditions in Ohio and across the nation and the potential that this trip may have to be cancelled as a result,” said Jonah Angulo-Hurtig, director of bands at Groveport Madison High School. “Without question, our top priority is the safety of our students, staff, and chaperones. We will continue to work closely with the high school’s and district’s administration as we carefully consider all options.”
The trip is scheduled to take place from April 6-11, 2021 during the district’s spring break.
“Our current plan is to travel to Animal Kingdom, The Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios,” said Angulo-Hurtig. “An alternative schedule would substitute Universal Studios in the event that any of the other venues are not available. “
He said the cost for each student is slightly more than $1,000.
“This includes travel coach rental (required for out-of-state travel), lodging, dedicated overnight security, our tour director, meals, clinics, performances, and entrance fees to the venues,” said Angulo-Hurtig.
Several fundraising opportunities for students and their families are being pursued to help defray as much of the trip costs as possible.Some fundraising activities are for individuals, while others are for the entire group. The deadline for collecting all funds for the trip is in February of 2021.
“We have until 90 days before the trip to make a final determination on the trip in order to secure refunds up to 95 percent of the total cost of the trip,” Angulo-Hurtig. “We also have encouraged families to take out travel insurance in the event of a last-minute change in plans, which allows for close to full reimbursement.”
Fundraising projects include pairing with Fan Cloth to sell Groveport Madison merchandise.
“We also were supported as a program by our local Raising Cane’s location during the football season to promote our program,” Angulo-Hurtig. “These two fundraisers are just the beginning of our fundraising opportunities to provide our families with financial support for the trip.”
The band is also using a fundraising platform called “Fansraise” at https://app.fansraise.com/c/0382e41e18824378bdd738ca0563940a/disney-here-we-come for anyone wishing to help raise money for students who will be on the Disney trip.
“All of the money we raise will be split evenly between the students who will be going on the trip,” Angulo-Hurtig. “If anything deters this trip, the donations we receive will be used for future band trips and/or to support the development of the band program.”
About the trip
“We are thrilled to have been invited to perform in a parade at the Magic Kingdom,” Angulo-Hurtig. “With COVID-19, we are prepared for Disney to make possible changes and adjustments to this portion of our trip for general safety protocols.”
Band members will also attend an instrumental workshop run by the musical staff at Disney.
“We are hoping that the students will have this wonderful opportunity to receive critique and work directly with professional musicians and educators,” Angulo-Hurtig.
He said it has been four years since the band made the trip to Disney.
“Typically, the Disney trip is made once every four years so every band student has the opportunity to go once during their time in band in high school,” Angulo-Hurtig. “Outside of Disney, we typically will take a trip every two years between Disney to provide other musical and education opportunities for students, as well as the opportunity to travel and see other parts of the country.”
It’s about student growth
When asked why trips like this are important to the musical, personal, and educational development of the band members, Angulo-Hurtig said, “There are so many benefits that are gained from trips of this nature. The primary focus is to provide meaningful musical experiences for students, where they can work with and learn from professional educators and musicians from across the nation through music clinics. They have opportunities to see and interact with other student musicians from across the country, and they get to perform before thousands of guests – an experience and memories that will last a lifetime. Lastly, but no less important, is the benefit that comes from working toward a common goal that results in not only an exemplary public performance, but also a stronger sense of community spirit, pride, and mutual respect.”