NMHS band heads soon to Florida

The New Milford High School marching band and color guard will be traveling soon to perform in competition in Florida. December 2012
The New Milford High School marching band and color guard will be traveling soon to perform in competition in Florida. December 2012Norm Cummings

New Milford High School's marching band will soon share a memorable experience.

Two coach buses will depart Dec. 27 for Orlando, Fla. with 85 students musicians aboard.

Traveling with nine chaperones, the students will be heading south to perform Dec. 29 at Universal Studios and Dec. 31 in the EPCOT theme park at Walt Disney World.

"Going to Disney World is one of the biggest trips a high school band can take," said David Syzdek, the band director. "I knew I wanted to take the band to Disney and this seemed to be the right time."

NMHS bands have previously made several trips to perform at college football bowl games, but this is a different sort of agenda.

While at Walt Disney World, the NMHS students will attend a workshop at a Disney recording studio. There, they will play opening music scores for several Disney movies, while the corresponding movie's scene plays on a big screen.

"It will be their band playing the movie's score," Mr. Syzdek said. "I won't be directing them. It will be Disney staff.

"It will give the kids an opportunity to work with someone else talking about music to them, and to see how business and music can work together."

At Universal Studios, the band will march in the Universal Orlando Macy's holiday parade.

Balloons from Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City are also flown in the Orlando parade.

At EPCOT, the band will both march in a parade and tave the opportunity to stop by the fountain at the geodesic Spaceship Earth, setting up quickly for a standstill performance.

They will play "We Need A Little More Christmas" at each event.

"Everybody in band, this is all they're talking about," said Joy Hutson, a junior who plays the baritone. "Everybody's so excited and wants to do their best."

Crystal MacIntyre, a sophomore who plays clarinet, compared this year's Florida trip to last year when the band went to Myrtle Beach.

The verdict? This is a much bigger deal.

"This will be my first time at EPCOT," Crystal said. "I'm looking forward to the whole thing. We practice our piece all the time in band class. I'm ready."

The New Milford High band went through an extensive application process to be chosen to perform by Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.

A recording, video and photos of the band were sent in, as was a description of the group, along with an online application.

The students' appearance in their uniforms was a key element of consideration, Mr. Syzdek said.

stuz@newstimes.com; 860-355-7322