Granite City Band Makes Memories in OrlandoCatelynn Liniger
After several destination changes, finally getting the Granite City Band on the road with Orlando on the horizon made for an exciting yet long anticipated departure. Read along as MTC Trip Journalist Catelynn Liniger recaps her journey with the Granite City Band to the happiest place on Earth.
We had been looking forward to this trip for months! After our NYC and Chicago trips were canceled due to the pandemic, the Granite City HS (IL) Marching Warriors were very excited to go on a trip, but this time to Orlando. I, personally, had it all planned out in my head: the foods I wanted to try, the rides I would wait hours for, and the outfits I would wear each day.
I, amongst others, could not wait for the journey we would soon be embarking. Before leaving for the trip, we had an informational meeting where we would learn about what we would be doing on our trip and everyone’s excitement grew. On the day of the trip, there was too much energy to contain.
The next day, we arrived at The Hub where we would get ready and would eat breakfast before we embarked onto Disney Springs and Epcot. I spoke with Zach Parks, a saxophone player about what he was most excited about. “I have been to Disney Springs before and I’m most excited to go to the Lego store,” said Parks. As the day went on, many students thought that the long bus-ride was worth it, especially once we arrived at Epcot. “Experiencing all the different countries and tasting all the food was great,” said mellophone player, Gloria Loeza Ozorio. We finished the night by watching a beautiful firework and projection show together and had the opportunity to ride a ride as a private group. We went back to our hotel and got ready for the next day, Animal Kingdom and our music clinic!
After arriving to Animal Kingdom, students dispersed and had fun for a couple hours, eventually meeting up to head to the Soundtrack Clinic. Students spent a couple hours at this clinic, and eventually got to watch an Aladdin animation with the music they created playing over it. Baylie Wagner, a freshman percussionist, shared her view of the clinic. She said, “I personally enjoyed the clinic very much and would absolutely like to attend it again someday. The director was funny and entertaining as well as skilled and direct.” She continued, “The staff was also very kind. They had put all of our music that we sight-read along with the animation and it looked amazing.” After the clinic, the group had a couple more hours to roam the park and then had to head back to the hotel to prepare for the big day ahead of us: marching at Magic Kingdom.
Most of us were pretty nervous. But nerves are a good thing, right? We had a few hours to relax beforehand, check out rides and eat food but it finally came time to meet up and get ready for the parade. We were scrambling to get ready and make sure we were all perfect but when it was time: it was time. Although I cannot recall how far we walked or how many times we went through the routine, it went by quicker than I could have ever imagined. And the experience was unforgettable.
Peyton Robinson shared her favorite part of the parade was seeing other people’s reactions to the band. “Getting to look around and see all of the people on the street getting excited when they recognized the songs we were playing was cool. Also, the little kids lighting up when they saw us and hearing little comments about how cool they thought we were as we walked by was so much fun,” said Robinson. Other students shared their experiences as well, stating that while it was fun, afterwards, their feet hurt.
I enjoyed being able to have the opportunity of marching down Main Street and being able to see the little kids who were jumping for joy as they saw our band. I also loved hearing the support from the crowds, which helps inspire us all. After the parade concluded we went on our merry ways until we had to head back to the hotel to go to bed.
The next couple of days were quick but still equally as fun! I was personally most excited for Hollywood Studios, especially to see Galaxy’s Edge and try the Star Wars themed cuisine, but I know many of my peers were happy to be able to go on rides like Tower Of Terror. I personally was not too fond of the big stomach churning drops.
We also went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, where we were able to roam through different areas of the park, such as Hogsmeade, or visit ET. Many students loved being able to see the movies and stories up close and in person, such as Harry Potter, which were influential to us as children. I took a poll amongst the students to figure out which park they liked the best and, to my surprise, Universal and Hollywood Studios were the top two most liked parks by students. Universal was 48% of student’s favorites and Hollywood Studios was 36% of student’s favorites.
I assume the choices were because these two parks had the most thrilling rides compared to the other parks we visited. While all was fun at these two parks, we ended the trip with dinner at Hard Rock Cafe on Universal’s Boardwalk. I got the chicken tenders (which I would rate an 8/10) and was full and ready to go on the bus ride home.
Reflecting on this trip, I wish we had more time to do stuff, but I am still very grateful that I was able to experience it. Jordan Lakin, a 4-year member of The Marching Warriors said, “Doing these trips bring us closer as a family and it is an experience that is truly amazing. Everyone deserves to experience trips like these.”
I have to wholeheartedly agree with his statement. This trip was so much fun for me, for my friends and for everyone in the band. I, amongst others, would love to thank our chaperones, our directors, and MTC for making this trip possible.
“Doing these trips bring us closer as a family and it is an experience that is truly amazing. Everyone deserves to experience trips like these.” – Jordan Lakin
Speaking of MTC, our director, Mr. Wyatt Roberds, was delighted to work with them on this trip since the last two had been canceled. Roberds said, “We love traveling with Music Travel Consultants. Their attention to detail in the overall organization and planning of the trip is second to none. They take care of everything travel related, so our band staff can focus on our students and the performance. I especially enjoy having our Tour Director, Bob Medworth, running the show while we are on the road. His experience as a band director gives him the insight to head off any issues we might encounter and make the trip run smoothly. MTC is company that truly puts kids first!”
This statement is something I can see and totally agree with. MTC was able to make this trip enjoyable for all students and I’m very glad we have them so our trips can run smoothly. This trip was a great experience for students, an experience which I hope other students can have one day. I enjoyed being able to go to each park and marching down Main Street was a once in a lifetime moment that I wouldn’t give up for the world. So, even though the long bus ride was painful, it was worth it in the end.
Music Travel Consultants offers journalistic opportunities for students in performing ensembles who have interests in both writing and music. For more information on our Trip Journalist program, click here.