Band Members had an opportunity to spend spring break at Walt Disney World

Amber Doyle, Business Manager

Members of the Athens Drive High School band spent spring break at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  Band members departed from Athens Drive High school Sunday March 27 and returned April 1.  

“I had a great time in Florida for spring break.  It was nice going to the different parks and being surrounded by my band family,” said Jada Kelly, junior.  

The band returns to Florida every four years giving each student an opportunity to perform at “The most magical place on Earth.”  

Their trip to Orlando Florida included four days of theme park admission into Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios.

“My favorite part was definitely Epcot because of the different rides and it was just a lot of fun,” said Kelley.

The band had a precise schedule while on the Florida trip.  They were required to get up at 7 a.m. and returned back to where they were staying at about 11 p.m.

“The only bummer we experienced while in Orlando was that it lightly rained during our marching performance in the Electric Light Parade.  Fortunately, that did not have an adverse effect on the quality of our performance nor the size of the audience,” said Jerome Markoch, band instructor.

While in Florida the band and their family members had a chance to stay at Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort in Disney Springs.  A total of 175 students had the opportunity to participate in parades at Disney World.  Which included 98% of the marching band and 90% of the concert ensembles.  There were 25 parent chaperones and over 80 family members also attending the trip.  

“The hotel was really nice and was only about five minutes away from Walt Disney World,” said Kelley.

Everyone who has participated in band had the chance to go including the marching band, color guard, winter guard and the concert band.  March 29 the marching band participated in the St. Electrical parade in the Magic Kingdom park.  While the concert/symphonic band has a performance at waterside stage in Disney Springs.

The band program has exploded to over 160 members making it the largest marching band in the school’s history, they have also won Grand Champion Band in their final two competitions of the season in Greensboro and Winston- Salem and Matt Baker, senior represented Athens Drive by marching in the U.S. All-American Marching Band in San Antonio.  The Athens Drive Band Marching Band has traveled extensively throughout the eastern United States, performing at such noted locales such as Busch Gardens, Hersheypark, Washington D.C. and Walt Disney World.

“I joined band because I wanted to be a part of something where I could meet new people and have fun,” said Kelley.  

Everyone in band has the opportunity to perform and compete throughout the season.  They spend a lot of time together and have grown really close and share bonds with one another.  

“The benefits of being in band is you become part of a family where people are there for you and embrace you for you.  You’re never belittled in band, mostly uplifted,” said Christian Judkins, junior.