High school bands, orchestras, ensembles, choirs and other student performance groups generally tour cities where they may perform in a public venue. When arranging a band trip, I often recommend specific cities where musicians are encouraged to perform in some of the most visible public venues. Performance groups often travel to: New York City, Washington D.C., Orlando when traveling on the East Coast of the United States. Philadelphia and Atlanta are also popular choices for performing groups, however this piece will not offer an overview of these two cities.
I have selected the most current and popular performance venues in these cities. Adjudicated performance dates and parades for marching bands in these selected locations are also noted. Working with a student travel company with experience in performance is a must for a successful trip. Whatever need a performance group may have may be planned and adjusted by a professional. Band, orchestra and choir leaders can focus on preparing the group for performance through rehearsals, while the educational travel expert takes care of all of the necessary details for the trip.
New York City
Since many performing artists aspire to work on Broadway or in television or film, New York City is a premiere destination for student groups. Some of the most highly respected performance venues are located in New York City and available for booking public performances: the Statue of Liberty, the United Nations building and Lincoln Center are all popular choices for bands, orchestras and ensembles. Choir directors may also select The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. For performance groups that require adjudication (formal judging) the season for this type of festival runs from March 12-June 4.
Band trips headed to Washington D.C. will find a plethora of choices for performance venues. These include: The White House Ellipse, the Jefferson Memorial, the Washington Monument, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Union Station, the U.S. Navy Memorial, the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall. For more information about adjudicated festivals in Washington D.C. contact a student travel company experienced in performance booking. For bandleaders interested in participating in parades in Washington D.C., consider the National Cherry Blossom Festival or the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Both occur in early spring – a great time to travel to Washington D.C.
Orlando, Florida is an excellent destination for a student performance group. Universal Studios Florida provides the Star Performance Program for concert bands, marching bands, show choirs, dance teams and other performance groups. Student groups may perform at one of the five themed islands at Universal Islands of Adventure.
In Disney World, student bands, choirs, orchestras and ensembles as well as dance troupes have a variety of choices, too. Here they may play publicly at: Magic Kingdom Park, EPCOT Center, the Disney-Hollywood Studios Theme Park and the Disney Village Marketplace.
For marching bands, Disney provides several different parades in their parks. Band trips can join the parade at Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot Center and Disney-Hollywood Studios Theme Park. Marching bands may also end up on stage after a parade for a ‘stand-up’ concert.
For band leaders, choir leaders and music teachers, having the band perform to a new public audience is a large part of the reason for traveling. Students are introduced to new cities and travel experiences with fellow musicians. They rehearse more vigorously for these performances, and learn to set-up and break down a performance in an environment outside of school. In some cases, where time and budget allow for it, an educational travel company may even be able to schedule master classes with professional musicians in conjunction with the tour.