Livingston High School junior Tiffany Bair, a drum major in the high school marching band, expects to feel a “rush of adrenaline” Sunday afternoon when she and the rest of the band lead the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Parade down Main Street.
“How many people get to go to Disney World with their marching band?” an enthusiastic Tiffany said during a break from marching around the Haines Pool parking lot after school. “I am really proud that we get to show off all of our hard work.”
Usually the high school marching band puts away their instruments in the fall after football season and the marching band competition season ends with the big competition at Giants Stadium, aside from a few practices and the performance at the Memorial Day Parade, Tiffany said. This year the season was extended with the special trip.
“We are all really dedicated to go,” Tiffany said, adding “and we are going to give it our best!”
While many high school marching bands submit audition tapes and are selected to perform on different stages at Disney World, only the best bands are selected to lead the Magic Kingdom parade down Main Street, according to co-band director Michael Jedwabnik, who has taken the band to Disney World in 2004 and 2001.
“Disney does it right and it is always fun,” he said. “It is about entertainment. Marching in the Magic Kingdom parade is a prestigious honor because you have to audition.”
Of the 64 students in the mid-sized Group 3 Level A band, 57 will make the trip and perform next season’s routine, “Burning Love,” and “C.C. Rider” by Elvis Presley, noted band co-director Jim Hegedus. The students departed the high school at 4:15 a.m. this morning for La Guardia, and plan to spend the day in the Animal Kingdom, Saturday at Epcott, Sunday in the Magic Kingdom and Monday at Hollywood Studios before flying home late Monday.
Danielle DiFalco, a senior in the band’s color guard, said she is glad “to have the marching band season extended.” Usually the band finishes its season in the fall with the last marching band competition, marches in the Memorial Day parade and that is it, she said.
“This will be a unique experience that I will remember for a while,” said Zach Berliner, a senior and tenor sax player in the band.
Twin brother Josh Berliner, a trombone player, said going with the marching band to Disney World “is a blend of two of my favorite things.” “I love being in the marching band and we are going to an amazing place-Disney World!”
Each student paid $730 to go on the trip with many participating in fund-raisers.