ASH is proud to offer a range of co-curricular activities and opportunities which all contribute to our students’ unique #ASHexperience. Our location here in Europe also affords our students the chance to travel on field trips to amazing places and countries. One such opportunity is the annual high school band and choir trip to Disneyland Paris, this year in its 24th edition, and which recently took place.
During the course of this trip, our ASH students participate in music workshops led by the Disney Performing Arts team and culminating in a performance on stage in front of a live audience. An instrumental driver behind this trip is music teacher Jim Yarnell. We spoke with him and Lilikoi R., a student on the trip, to listen to their thoughts and memories.
How did you first get involved in the band at ASH? What appealed to you most about joining? Lilikoi: I came to ASH in 5th grade and at that time, it was required to be in choir and orchestra or band. I honestly didn’t know what to fully expect. What led me to keep participating until now though, has probably been because of the different styles of music that we play, and that it is an ensemble performance. Outside of band, I mainly play classical and romantic solo pieces. So playing things such as pop songs, medlies, and band focused pieces is a fun change of pace. Playing in a band itself is also quite different than playing alone. Being in a band brings a whole different level with its variety of instruments and people to play with. It makes every performance unique in its own way. These aspects have been fun enough for me to remain in the band for all of these years.
What do you see as the biggest learning opportunities for students on this trip? Mr. Yarnell: Students learn from Disney employees about what it means to be a performer and how to best effectively communicate with an audience via music. At the workshop, students learn first-hand what it means to be a performing musician at Disney.
Lilikoi: I’ve been in the high school band and on the Disney trip from when I was a freshman to now as a senior. You get to see what it is like to be on the more professional side of music. The workshop is important for the band to have a second opinion on what to work on, and the questions at the end give you an opportunity to ask a working music performer.
We know it’s hard to single out one moment but what was your highlight from the trip? Mr. Yarnell: This year, the band and choir performed for 1,500 people on the Videopolis Stage.
Lilikoi: One of them was being able to perform with my friends in the band again. It just makes the whole experience a lot more fun, since you’re working with people you like.