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A High School Band Trip to Orlando FL

Performance trips are a great way to showcase a marching band, orchestra, ensemble or choir. This type of trip always includes a public appearance of the band at a desirable venue. For Kris Parish, Performing Arts Chair at Santiago High School in Corona California and his co-director, Joe Dudek, historic venues are preferred.  “We played at Pearl Harbor twice and Carnegie Hall,” says Parish. They have been bringing their high school band on a trip each year for many years. “The band has been to Hawaii, Seattle, Vancouver, San Francisco, New York City, and Washington D.C.” recalled Parish.

Band Trip to Orlando Florida Includes Performance at Kennedy Center

This past spring, Parish and Dudek brought their band to Orlando, Florida, where they spent six days and five nights exploring the theme parks and sites. This particular band trip included a performance at Kennedy Space Center. Other high school bands have performed in Magic Kingdom or other Disney parks – so there are many options open for student musicians bound for this destination. The band performed at an outdoor stage.  “It was a great location to perform,” said Parish. “Kennedy Space Center enjoyed having us and the crowd was very receptive,” he added.

Students Raise Funds to Travel
Parish and Dudek direct a 210 piece marching band (recently selected to perform in the 2013 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade), three jazz ensembles and three concert bands for Santiago High School.  The marching band prepared for this trip with extra rehearsals.  About 100-130 students attend these performance trips each year.  Students fund their trip a variety of ways.  “They have all kinds of fundraisers: selling candy, entertainment books, and holiday greenery,” said Parish.  And, parents make contributions to the band trip as well.

Disney Performing Arts Workshop a Memorable Part of Student Trip
One of the highlights of the trip was attending a Disney Performing Arts Workshop, “You’re Instrumental.” This interactive learning experience put the band in a real Disney recording studio, where they were asked to sight-read music in preparation for a recording.  A Disney clinician who watched their performance and commented on their skills and attitudes critiqued band members.  Finally, the band was asked to perform music along with a Disney animated feature film. “They got to see the performance DVD playback,” said Parish, who retained a copy of the DVD for the students.

High School Band Performance at Magic Kingdom Rained Out!
There was a minor disappointment for the group. They were slated to play in the “Celebrate a Dream Come Tru” parade in Magic Kingdom, but were rained out.  “The park was absolutely swamped,” said Parish.  The itinerary was packed with plenty of activities that eclipsed this minor disappointment: Epcot Center, Magic Kingdom, Universal Islands of Adventure, and the Kennedy Space Center.  The group also visited Cocoa Beach and had a cookout.

Orlando is an excellent choice for a marching band trip because of the obvious draw of Walt Disney World and Universal Islands of Adventure.  Disney does a great job of incorporating active learning programs alongside the exhibits and invites students to participate in park performances.   Other cities, such as New York City and Washington D.C., also have a great deal to offer in terms of performance venues and entertainment.

To request a quote for a band trip to any city in the U.S. take a moment to fill out the inquiry form.  Or, email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information.

Unforgettable Senior Class Trips: Universal Studios and Walt Disney World Orlando Florida

Senior Year-A Time to Remember

Most high school students consider senior year the most important year of high school. It is a time when teens get to reap the benefits of hard work, celebrate the beginning of adulthood and spend time with friends they will always remember. Senior class trips are just one of the events students most look forward to before graduation. It is important that a senior class trip be memorable, fun and special. Orlando, Florida offers a variety of destinations perfect for teens including Universal Studios Park and Walt Disney World.

Grad Nights-Walt Disney World and Universal Studios Events Created Specifically for Senior Class Trips

The best way to plan a senior class trip to Orlando, Florida is to organize around Grad Nights. Grad Nights are held at both Walt Disney World Orlando Florida and Universal Studios Orlando. Each year for two nights in April Walt Disney World Orlando FL opens up only to high school seniors from 10 PM to 4 AM. Major park rides and attractions make the evening unforgettable. Universal Studios Orlando also features a one night of Grad Bash at the Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure. In the past performances by Brandy, Brittney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Goo Goo Dolls and more have rocked teen audiences, as well as dance parties and thrilling rides.

Universal Studios Theme Park and Islands of Adventure

Beyond just the annual Grad Bash the Universal Studios Theme Park and Islands of Adventure offer thrilling adventures for students and chaperones alike. According to UniversalOrlando.com, “the world’s most cutting edge rides, shows and attractions challenge all your senses.” Enjoy the breathtaking 3-D ride, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure and much more.

Great Ideas for Student Trips to Walt Disney World Orlando Florida Theme Parks

Walt Disney World Orlando Florida has four theme parks to explore, all of which provide superb entertainment, food, rides and educational experiences.

Epcot: The 300-acre Epcot Theme Park is home to Future World and the World Showcase. Future World offers inspiring attractions and entertainment focused on technological advancement and scientific innovation. The World Showcase contains multiple pavilions and a lagoon where 11 countries are represented: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. Live performances and interactive activities can be found throughout Epcot.

Animal Kingdom: The Animal Kingdom Theme Park houses more than 1,700 animals from 250 species on 500 acres. Animal Kingdom is divided into 7 areas where visitors encounter wildlife firsthand: Oasis, Discovery Island, Camp Minnie-Mickey, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and Dinoland, U.S.A.

Hollywood Studios: Hollywood Studios provides students with the chance to see behind-the-scenes glimpses of Hollywood life. Created to appear like a busy movie set, Hollywood Studios celebrates the glamour of the 1930s and 40s. Students can also enjoy new attractions like the American Idol Experience. Discover the magic of stardom at Hollywood Studios.

Magic Kingdom: Magic Kingdom was created to capture fairy tale enchantment. Magic Kingdom has 7 distinct sections students and adults will love: Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown Fair and Tomorrowland. Let fantasy become reality at Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney World Orlando FL Water Parks

Walt Disney World Orlando Florida has two water parks students can visit during a senior class trip.

Typhoon Lagoon Water Park: According to legend the Typhon Lagoon Water Park was created accidentally by a storm. Now waterslides of all shapes and sizes, Mount Mayday, the surf pool and snorkeling in Shark Reef are the main attractions.

Blizzard Beach Water Park: Blizzard Beach is home to one of the world’s fastest, tallest waterslides. Supposedly created when an unexpected snowstorm hit Florida, Blizzard Beach is one of the only water parks in the country with a ski theme. Blizzard Beach is the perfect place to cool off in the hot Florida weather.

Exciting Evening Entertainment for a Senior Class Trip

While on a senior class trip students can enjoy once in a lifetime dining and entertainment experiences at some of Florida’s most popular theme restaurants. The Medieval Times, Pirates and Arabian Nights Dinner Theaters offer the exhilaration of authentic, live reenactments. The Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood provide a more metropolitan style of dining and students can enjoy learning more about the music and Hollywood icons they adore.

Student and senior class trips to Orlando, Florida are an excellent way to give students a chance to learn about the world around them and have wonderful experiences with friends. So don’t wait, start planning a student travel tour or senior class trip to Walt Disney World Orlando Florida or Universal Studios Parks today. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com for more information, or Request a Quote today.

What Does a Music Director Require for a Successful Group Performance Tour?

Public performance is an important component to many disciplines, but especially music. Delighting a crowd with musical expertise is something any student in the high school choir, high school orchestra, high school band, or jazz ensemble will find appealing. Special performance tours are designed for this group of young travelers. These tours culminate with a pubic performance – the ultimate learning experience. Music Directors need to balance the needs of administration, teachers and chaperones, and students in order to create a unique learning experience through the performance tour.

Gaining Approval from Administration for Performance Tours

On many occasions, Music Directors must obtain permission to travel from the Board of Education and/or school administration and the superintendent. In order to be approved as an educational tour the trip must meet certain criteria. A performance tour must contain a musical component. Scheduling a performance at the Lincoln Memorial or U.S. Capital is a good example of this. Music Directors are aware that the administration is looking for a performance opportunity at a well-respected venue. An educational travel company with good credentials can help reserve the best possible venue for a student travel group.

Another important educational aspect to the performance tour is incorporating a visit to a world-class musical performance into the tour. Student travel groups may see the Washington Symphony, attend a Musical Dinner Theater, or during certain times of year, watch the U.S. Navy Band or U.S. Marine Band perform while in Washington D.C. Crafting the performance tour in this way makes it very appealing to the administration and Board of Education as an active learning experience.

Destination Matters for Student Travel with Performance

Various destinations offer an assortment of travel experiences that include workshops and performance venues. Orlando, Florida, Washington D.C. and New York City all offer great venues for students on performance tour.

Planning and Itinerary
The planning for a performance tour must be done well in advance, with a qualified educational travel consultant who understands the needs of musicians and/or singers, and knows how to execute a well-coordinated performance. The itinerary for the performance tour must also include other fun and educational destinations for the student travel group to enjoy, such as theme parks, shopping and historical districts, museums, and more.

Expertise of Travel Staff Trained for Performance Tours
The travel coordinator must be able to manage large(r) groups of students and instruments and be familiar with audio equipment such as amplifiers, microphones, and speakers. Chairs and music stands must be provided by the venue, as well. The educational travel staff must work closely with the music director to ensure the performance area is prepared prior to the student travel group’s arrival. The travel professional must also have some foundational knowledge of transferring large numbers of musical instruments in light of new FAA rules. A travel coordinator must be familiar enough with an area to be able to direct the bus driver to the best location for unloading equipment and students.

Active Learning on Performance Tour
Performance tours include interaction with the destination in a unique way. Student travel groups can immerse themselves in the culture and community of the area they visit. Sometimes student travel groups are introduced to local performers and other people of interest. This can enrich the performance experience and create even more excitement.

Bring a Musical Choir, Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, or Band on Performance Tour
In the music profession, collaboration and bringing work to new audiences is key to success. Students on performance tour have the opportunity to acquire new experiences that will enrich their musical craft. A performance tour can achieve all of this and more for the student whose passion is music.

Performing to Diverse Audiences
Some students rarely have a chance to travel afar and perform in front of diverse audiences. In U.S. cities such as New York, Washington D.C. and Orlando the opportunity to perform in front of an international and diverse crowd is a welcome change from the norm.

Concert Attire
On performance tour to special locations, uniformity in the selection of concert attire is often best. When a student choir, orchestra, band, or jazz ensemble is dressed the same, it presents a more cohesive picture of the group. The public is watching, so it is important to look sharp. Some advance planning about concert dress is recommended.

The Music Director has a great deal to coordinate with a large performance tour. This is why it is essential that the proper educational travel company is selected to plan the tour. For information about performance tours to various destination cities in the United States, visit http://www.educationaltravelconsultants.com.

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Performance Tours for Student Travel Groups

At Educational Travel Consultants, our tour guides are specially trained to take performance groups on tour. We take pride in the fact that our tour guides are trained for performance groups. When my full time profession was education, part of my duties included oversight of a student choral group. This is where I first got to know these types of students very well.

After 24 years of coordinating and executing student travel tours, I can say that the musical and performance group tours are some of the most exciting, and complex tours we produce.

A performance group has different needs than a regular student travel group. At Educational Travel Consultants, we cater to this need. First of all, many are taking instruments along on tour with them. These instruments need to be accounted for prior to arrival at the airport. A list of carrying cases, instruments, and unusual dimensions must be collected by the tour guide prior to the trip in order for instruments to travel well and reach their intended destination.

A tour guide assigned to a performance group must have special skills. Not all tour guides possess these skills. But, it is my belief that a tour guide must be trained well, in order for the trip to go smoothly. When hiring tour guides for performance tours, Educational Travel Consultants looks for the following skills, or trains tour guides with aptitudes for these duties. These include: coordinating the set up of the performance group, an assessment of the room allocated, electrical, instrument, amplifier, and microphone placement, and the position of keyboards and larger instruments on stage. The tour guide must also be trained in how to work directly with the bus driver, so he or she can make certain that the parking and unloading location selected is appropriate for movement of instruments, equipment and students.

Educational Travel Consultants brings these value added services to our student travel groups because we know that assigning selected staff and providing proper training are key to the success we have with student performance tours.

Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com if you would like more specific information on ETC performance tours.