ASH and Disneyland Paris: A Magical Musical Partnership

Did you know that ASH founded a musical collaboration with Disneyland Paris some 27 years ago? It all began with our high school jazz band playing a concert in the park; the first time that any high school band had ever performed live at Disneyland Paris. Since then, over 1,000 ASH concert band and choir students have participated in specially curated on-site workshops with Disney musical professionals, culminating in a live concert with our students playing in Disneyland park to crowds of spectators. This Signature ASH Program sees its 25th anniversary this year, providing an unparalleled and unforgettable learning experience for our students on the essence of musical collaboration. 

“Disneyland Paris - I feel like the opportunity speaks for itself. We got to travel, to stay in a hotel with our band mates, to go to Disneyland, to play on a stage in Disney. How cool is that? The experience was unforgettable. How did I grow? Well, I guess the idea that music can be so much fun, about connection, travel, performance, sharing. That it doesn’t have to be just for professionals - that kids and amateurs can do it too. It made me realize music can be a lifelong pursuit, that we can come from all backgrounds, skill levels, and we can all have enjoyment from it as a participant. Music does not have to be a spectator sport. Because of my experiences at ASH I have encouraged my own children in music, trying to seek out opportunities like the ones I had. “  - Janice, Class of 1996

“One of the best parts of this trip is getting to see backstage and learn how a place as big as Disney uses music in the park. It provides an opportunity to work in a more commercial environment, including our teachers discussing how they choose what music to perform. Any time you work with other conductors and musicians is a learning experience, and getting to work with someone who does the music for Disney was very interesting. It also taught us about different expectations in different places and contexts. The biggest learning opportunity was certainly being able to work in a more commercial environment and learn what that was like, as well as working with a different conductor with different ideas on how we can improve as an ensemble.I loved band, so any opportunity to travel with my friends to play music was a huge motivation! Plus who doesn't want to go to Disney?” - Heather, Class of 2012

“It was really fun and engaging to get a look at the inner workings of professional performing arts, and it felt like we were part of something bigger - not just the ASH band - and playing in front of strangers at Disney always felt like quite an achievement. My motivation to participate in Disney was that throughout my time at ASH I really enjoyed all the experiences with the ASH music department (musicals, AMIS Honor Band, Solo & Ensemble, and Disney was no exception. This learning experience really added a level of professionality to my behavior and my (musical) playing, and the biggest learning opportunity is seeing how artists at Disney perform and learning to work in a completely new environment. There are so many standout moments from the trip, but one in particular was when Mr. Loy came out to sing the blues brothers at Disney, seeing the enjoyment on the audience faces! I would recommend this trip as its a lot of fun - backstage access at Disney and performing - plus getting early access to the park too! “ - Vincent, Class of 2012