The season has come to a close for the Shippensburg University Concert Band. However, this is not a season to be forgotten.
Along with its annual spring concert in the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center, the band had the opportunity to perform at California Adventure Park in the Disneyland Theme Parks over spring break.
From March 15–19, the 65-member band had the chance to experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. This was one of the reasons band director Trever Famulare decided on the location.
“A trip to Los Angeles provided 98 percent of our students a first (and possibly last) visit to the West Coast,” Famulare said. “Our tours are designed to provide the students not only with global performing opportunities, but also educational experiences and venues they may never have again.”
The band’s performance in Disneyland allowed for the band and university international exposure. The band gained many positive comments from the Disney staff, such as, “One of the most musical groups they have heard on this stage,” and the band members were a “Very mature and professional group.”
In addition to this performance, the band also performed for and with the Mira Costa High School Wind Ensemble, one of the Top 3 high school music programs in California.
Both bands then had the opportunity to work together on a piece of music with its composer, Sean O’Loughlin, who composes and arranges the university marching band’s halftime show during football season.
Students explored many corners of Los Angeles and Hollywood, which included the Dolby Theatre, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Santa Monica Pier, Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and Hollywood Boulevard.
One of the most exciting things band members experienced was attending a taping of “The Price is Right.” According to Famulare, the realization of a small studio, cameras, lights, and of course Drew Carey put the whole experience in a new perspective.
Only one student from the band was called from the audience to participate in the game show, but most of them were just excited to see themselves on television when they got home.
“My favorite experience of the entire trip was having the opportunity to be on my all-time favorite game show, ‘The Price is Right,’” newly-elected president of the band Shelby Young said. “It was so cool to experience that as a group and then watch it on TV when we got home.”
Young also enjoyed traveling on the “stars tour,” where she and friends spent two hours touring Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive.
“I got to see where Katy Perry, Charlie Sheen, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and many more stars lived.”
Overall, both Young and Famulare were excited to represent the university on the other side of the country.
Famulare especially appreciated the opportunity to play with such a recognized high school under the direction of an accomplished Los Angeles/Hollywood composer. He also loved the joy on his students’ faces upon the completion of their outstanding performances.
“The students immensely grew in musicianship each week and continued to grow even after their return in preparation for their campus performance on April 6,” Famulare said.
The concert band is hoping to head to Boston next spring to do a local and regional school tour and visit the sights of the city.
Every year brings something different and exciting for the band, and plans are already in motion to make next year even more special.