SHS Music Department Travels to Disney World

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Photo by Bethany Backer
Seventy members of the SHS music department traveled to Disney World to participate in workshops and experience music in the parks.

The Suffield High School Music Department gave their students a wonderful opportunity to venture off to Disney World over April break! The main purpose of this trip was to seek new opportunities and learn more about the art of music. Both band and choir students met music professionals and learned a few things from them.

Choir students were introduced to a trained professional who has worked with Disney for many years. Mr. Ferreira, Suffield High School Choir Director, reflected, “Our instructor was awesome. He was so enthusiastic and really knew how to make all the students feel comfortable enough to take creative risks. I really appreciated how he encouraged our students to pursue a career in the arts, irrespective of the pay – life is too short to not do what we love!” Jack Ryan, grade 9 choir student, agreed: “The trip was great overall. The workshop gave me valuable lessons in theater choreography and singing.” Milo Graham, a grade 12 choir student mentioned, “I liked how it was really interactive for everyone.” These students, along with others, loved taking part in the workshop where they were able to express their talents, and explore new ways of singing and performing.

Band students also had the great honor of working with a distinguished Disney musician and teacher. Noah Turton, a grade 10 band student, shared his experience: “I really enjoyed the fun impressions we got to do in order to make the piece a memorable experience.” McKenna Lepage, another grade 10 band student, pointed out the importance of the workshop: “It was a great experience and it really put into perspective on how hard they have to work and how inspiring it is to take part in the music program.” On top of that, Amelia Hosack, one more grade 10 student said: “The music program has been amazing for me, and the fact that we were able to go down to Disney and have a look into a career path was amazing for everyone in band.” Even the Suffield High School Band Director, Mr. Killian, was impressed with the workshop, “Our workshop was a soundtrack session where the band worked with a click track and made recordings of an orchestra to record parts of the soundtrack to Moana. It was a great, real-world experience for our students. What we did in our workshop gave students a taste of what professional musicians do every day”.

Along with learning new things about performing (either with an instrument or their voices), the students visited multiple parks including Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom. At each park, they viewed different performances such as The Voices of Liberty at EPCOT and native African performances at Animal Kingdom. “There was just something about the way that they loved what they were doing. A lot of times you see that people get bored or just don’t want to be there, and it was inspiring seeing how much they just loved the art of music,” said one student.

Not only did the high school students learn new aspects of performing, but they also learned new things about friendship and even themselves. “I was able to have fun with my group, growing our friendships, no matter if it rained or if we all got sunburnt” (Azura Eckley, grade 11). Another student explained how their friendship grew, “Being in a non-school setting allowed for me to really interact and understand my friends better. I loved getting to know the foods they really didn’t like and learning about their love for Chip and Dale!”.

Thank you to the Suffield Music Booster Club and Suffield Rotary, who provided support for the trip. Also, thank you to Mr. Ferreira, Mr. Killian, parents, chaperones and students for making this trip possible! You gave Suffield High School students a time to remember and we are all so grateful for this opportunity!

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