Tag Archives: band trips washington dc

Chorus, Orchestra and Band Trips to Washington D.C. Include Performance at Top D.C. Sites

Band trips for high school students include a public performance as the main objective of the trip.  Some performance groups travel specifically for adjudicated festivals, which usually occur on the weekends from early April through the end of May. Other bands, orchestras and choral groups schedule performances at notable pubic venues in major cities.  The Washington D.C. performance trip is especially rich because it gives students a chance to play in heavily trafficked public venues such as:  the Lincoln, Jefferson, or FDR Memorials, the White House ellipse, Union Station or the U.S. Navy Memorial. Student travel groups can also enjoy the many other sites in D.C. and engage in fun entertainment activities.
NationalMall
The White House Ellipse
The White House Ellipse is a nice venue for warmer months, where high school bands and orchestras can play outside. The ellipse is a circular driveway that surrounds an open field. Here, many citizens have demonstrated or participated in community functions.  This open area of the President’s Park outside the White House is a highly visible location for a performance group to showcase their talent and is available for performance group trips with enough advance notice.

Lincoln, Jefferson & FDR Memorials
Located on the National Mall in Washington D.C., the Lincoln Memorial offers a splendid view and excellent exposure for student performance groups.  Also on the National Mall, The Jefferson Memorial was completed in 1943 and it was built to resemble the Roman Pantheon, with a circular colonnaded style of architecture, which Jefferson himself brought to America. He was a true statesman, scholar and architect, among many other distinctions.  There is a statue of Jefferson within the memorial, looking out towards the White House.  There is also a statue of the five members of the Declaration of Independence drafting committee submitting their report to Congress, and five excerpts from Jefferson’s writing adorn the walls. These snippets encapsulate his main thoughts and philosophies.  Both Memorials are iconic American statues celebrating two of the greatest presidents.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Memorial
Also on the National Mall in Washington D.C. is a memorial to one of the greatest Presidents of the United States – Franklin D. Roosevelt.  His presidency occurred during the 1930s and the 1940s and spanned the Great Depression and World War II. Despite having polio and being restrained to a wheel chair in later years, Roosevelt’s leadership is renowned and his legacy remains strong.  FDR’s statue is cast in a sitting position with a cloak draped around him and his dog is by his side.  On the other side of the memorial are men in a bread line waiting for food, signifying the Great Depression.  Because the Memorial is outdoors, on the National Mall, it provides a spectacular amount of visibility for student bands and orchestras.

Union Station
Union Station in Washington D.C. has a rich history as one of the major crossroads of America. Opened in 1907 when the Baltimore and Ohio Pittsburgh Express came into the station, Union Station’s construction was eventually completed in 1908.  The white granite construction is outstanding and it is embellished with many different images.  All of the wood features inside the Station are made from a deep, rich mahogany.  In the fall of 1988, Union Station reopened its doors after a restoration project.  Student performance groups have the chance to perform in this iconic structure, which still amazes many with its magnificence today.  Travelers can take all forms of rail through Union Station:  Amtrak, the DC Area Metro, Maryland Rail Commuter Service (MARC) or Virginia Railway Express (VRE). Bus service on all major public transportation lines as well as private bus companies such as Megabus, Bolt and Peter Pan can also be boarded and disembarked from at Union Station.  The bustling Station houses restaurants, newsstands and stores and is the location of many special events.

U.S. Navy Memorial
The U.S. Navy Memorial was dedicated in 1987, in the 212th year of the Navy’s existence.  It is centrally located on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets.  This public, outdoor park also has a Naval Heritage Center on site.  The Navy Memorial is centrally located and can easily encompass large groups for special events.  Student performers will find that a performance at the U.S. Navy Memorial puts them in the heart of the Washington D.C. political district, where Pennsylvania Avenue connects the White House and the Capital.

Trip leaders need to plan ahead with a recommended one year to six months advance to schedule a performance trip to Washington D.C. that includes their desired venue. There are numerous details of a performance trip, but it is well worth the effort.  Student travel groups need a special tour guide who is experienced in performance tours.   Musicians have to carry their instruments for performance tours in Washington D.C. and this may be bit complicated, especially if air travel is involved and airline luggage fees apply. A specialized tour guide will be able to test stage equipment pre-performance and take on other duties associated in organizing this type of student trip.

Many high school bands, orchestras or choral groups scheduled to perform in Washington D.C. usually stay four or five days so they have a chance to see the entire Washington D.C. area. Some performance groups will perform in Washington D.C. and take a short trip out to Mount Vernon or Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  Others may want to explore political sites such as the U.S. Capitol and the White House, or visit the National Archives or see inside the J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building.

In the evenings, student performance groups can have fun, related entertainment, such as a stop at the Hard Rock Café or an evening at the Medieval Dinner Theater.  There are, of course, numerous other options to add to itineraries such as exploration of the Smithsonian Museums, or a visit to the newly opened Washington Harbor to ride the brand new observation wheel with a view of downtown D.C.

There are so many excellent touring sites that student musicians can see while visiting the Washington D.C. area.  And, trip highlights may be customized by the trip leader, band director or teacher. Request a quote for student performance trips to Washington D.C.

Planning an Exciting Band Trip: Educational Student Tours Near Washington DC

In today’s modern world planning student trips everyone will enjoy can be a daunting task. Planning a trip for the high school or junior high band can add even more complexity. Band trips can be designed to have something for everyone. If a student group plans to attend one of Washington D.C.’s most popular festivals, the trip can be designed to suit music and art students. Here are a few suggestions for your next student band trip.

A Band Trip to Washington D.C.: The Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

In 1912 Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gave the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington D.C. in honor of the relationship between the United States and Japan. In 1915 the United States returned the sentiment with a gift of flowering dogwoods for the people of Japan. By 1935 the first Cherry Blossom Festival was held and the tradition has continued ever since. Currently over one million people visit Washington DC each year to see the cherry trees in full glory and to enjoy different festival events, which include the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade is one of the highlights of the festival each year. Huge parade balloons, musical performers, celebrities, marching bands and more fill Constitution Avenue while TV stations broadcast the parade live. The parade features a wide variety music including:

1. Singers like American Idol finalist (2nd season) Kimberly Locke, Grammy winner Thelma Houston, Disney Radio star Joey Page and Miss America 2009 Katie Stam.
2. Student Performers come from far and wide to play at the festival. Students from the Creative and Performing Arts High School in Philadelphia, the All-Star Tap Team and Youth Choir and marching bands from as far as Elko High School in Nevada make it to the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
3. Broadway performances by the cast of Chicago and songs from Mamma Mia! have also been part of the festival and the Broadway tradition will likely continue.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is the perfect destination for a high school band trip to Washington DC, whether students want to watch on the sidelines or participate in the parade fun. To plan an extra special band trip consider attending the 2012 Cherry Blossom Festival, the centennial anniversary of Japan’s beautiful gift to the nation’s capital. Always plan at least a year or more in advance to schedule band performances in the parade. Be certain to work with a qualified student travel professional that has experience in putting together band trips.

Make Sure to Wear Green on Your Student Trip to the Washington D.C. St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Another great plan for a high school band trip is to attend or participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Washington, DC. Started in 1971, the annual St. Pat’s parade is a community endeavor supported by the Irish American Club and city officials. Each year a noteworthy person is chosen as the parade Grand Marshall. A parade theme is announced and the honored title of Gael of the Year is bestowed on a deserving member of the community.

Invitations are sent to marching bands, performers, organizations, floats and groups the parade committee feels are appropriate for the parade celebration. Student band trip itineraries can be created to secure great seating to watch the parade or groups can schedule time to perform in the parade. To learn more about receiving an invitation for your band visit the parade web site at www.dcstpatsparade.com.

A Band Trip to Virginia Students Will Love: The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival

Each year more than 250,000 visitors descend upon the small town of Winchester, Virginia to enjoy a week of fun activities that comprise the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. For student trips headed to Washington D.C. the Apple Blossom Festival is a great addition. Since 1924, the annual festival has grown to include parades, dances, band competitions, floats, a 10K run, music, a carnival, a circus, sporting, events, car shows, craft shows, delicious food and the traditional Apple Blossom Pageant.

High school band trips, student musical tours and student performance trips to Washington D.C. can all be planned around the Apple Blossom Festival. Musically inclined students may enjoy seeing some famous faces. In the past the Apple Blossom Festival has been proud to host celebrities like Fantasia Barrino, Wayne Newton, Sea Astin, Dan Akyroyd, Katie Couric, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Lucille Ball who have served as grand marshals. In 2009 American Idol star Bucky Covington will headline the week’s concerts.

A must see event for band trips and student groups is the Coronation of Queen Shenandoah and the annual Pageant. The coronation ceremony is fashioned after the ceremonies of the British monarchy and the Pageant originally featured a performance by over 1,000 local school children. The annual Pageant has been held on the steps of Handley High School since 1925 and the traditional Royal Command Performance is presented by the Handley Singers.

If you are planning a band trip, student performance tour or a simple group excursion festivals can be an excellent plan whether you are in Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia or anywhere else in the United States. Email info@educationaltravelconsultants.com or Request a Quote for a student travel company that can help manage all of the details, itineraries and events.