The Lakers performed at the beginning of the Festival of Fantasy Parade in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, Jan. 30 through Feb. 5.
Overall, 151 SLHS students went on the trip, along with 13 chaperones and 28 family members.
The band also split into two smaller groups and attended Disney’s “You’re Instrumental” workshops, during which they learned what it’s like being a professional musician and recorded movie soundtracks, said Mark Grevengoed, a marching band director.
The color guard participated in the “Auxiliaration” workshop.
Attending the workshop was one of the most interesting parts of the trip for SLHS senior Jensen Hussey. Hussey, who plays the trumpet, said they received tips about reading music and also performed Disney songs.
The opportunity to spend time with friends while also performing were some of the reasons Hussey, 18, said she wanted to go on the trip. She said it was a fun experience and she will remember the memories she made with friends.
Senior Stephen Zambiasi said it was also nice to get out of the cold weather and be with friends.
While in Orlando, the students had time to explore Walt Disney World and nearby Universal Studios.
When the band marched down Disney’s Main Street, USA, they performed an arrangement of “Soak Up the Sun,” said Zambiasi, who plays the snare drum.
Grevengoed said they sent audition material so Disney could decide where they would perform, and they were excited for playing at the Magic Kingdom for the third time. The Lakers also performed there in 2011 and 2015.
“It was such a fun and rewarding experience, so we decided to go every four years to give each high school student the opportunity,” said another SLHS marching band director, Mike Truszkowski.
Zambiasi and his family have previously traveled with the band to Disney to watch his older brother perform. Being the one who performed this time was “pretty sweet,” Zambiasi said.
Truszkowski said the crowds were energetic and supportive.
“It was also wonderful to see so many parents and families along the parade route that made it down to see the band,” he said.
Truszkowski noted they wouldn’t have been able to make the trip without the support of the administrators, Spring Lake Band Backers, chaperones and volunteers.