Band and Orchestra Balance Fun and Responsibility

Connor L., Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Paige Barber

The eighth-grade Orchestra members are ecstatic about the upcoming trip to Disney and what it will have in store for them, but will it affect their academics, student life, or athletics?

After participating in this Orlando trip last year where the band went to Universal Studios, the band directors wanted to offer it again this year and invite the eighth grade orchestra students to come along and participate in the service learning project along with a visit to Disney World. This year the trip happens from February 16-20.

Emaad D., an eighth grade band student said, “I am excited that we get to go to Disney World with all my friends from band and orchestra and that we get to bond. I don’t know much about the service learning trip but that sounds fun.”

Also Teja G., an eighth grade cellist, said, “I am looking forward to the fun experiences and the time for me to bond with friends.”

The eighth grade band and orchestra are getting excited for the trip and so are the teachers. The teachers aren’t looking forward to Disney as much as the students, but they want the students to feel the joy of service learning.

Mr. Zac Ferguson-Cogdill, a middle school band teacher, said, “Going down to Disney can be very exciting, but the honest answer to your question is that the benefits that the students will receive by touching the hearts and lives of senior citizens, that is one of the greatest gifts they could give to the seniors and inadvertently affect themselves.”

In Orlando, the band and orchestra students will participate in a service learning project where they will play for and interact with senior citizens at a retirement home in Orlando. After one day-and-a-half of service learning with seniors, the students will get to bond at the Disney Theme Parks in Orlando.

Mrs. Rebecca Colborg-Frederick, a lower and middle school orchestra teacher, said, “The bonding experience for students, service learning, providing service is so important and well-incorporated into the trip. Youth Education, a separate program that tells the story of Disney and its development, gives background into Disney where they will be going later in the week. The band had so much fun last year, they wanted to do it again and open the trip to other performing arts.”

Even though the trip will be fun and a good bonding experience for the students, will it affect their lives once they get back to school? Because of the trip interfering with school days, the students could fall behind on athletic and academic life.

Anand S., a middle school orchestra student, said, “Last year during soccer season, some of my teammates were missing due to this trip. It was difficult playing and practicing without them.”

Anand has experienced the downside of the interference of the Band and Orchestra Trip with student life, but this year the band planned accordingly to best fit the students’ schedules.

Mr. F-C said, “There is a mid-semester sport break, like a transitional part of athletic season, so it shouldn’t affect student athletics. The students are also only missing one day of school, so academic problems should minimal. It is the student’s responsibility, anyway, to catch up and cover their school work.”

Even though most will not have much of a problem, that is not the case for all. Because of the athletic break, between the end of one season and the beginning of another, tryouts for spring sports are in full swing.

Teja G. said, “I will miss the end of tennis tryouts which may be important for determining my spot on the team, but I made the team last year so I don’t think it will be a problem.”

With the planning of the trip as perfect as possible, it looks to be an improvement from last years trip. With little to complain about, some teachers already have ideas for next year.

Orchestra teacher, Mrs. Bo Na, said, “Next year I would like to able to take the entire orchestra, but our eighth grade students who are going on the trip are getting very excited!”

It is not certain if the students will miss out on academic and athletic opportunities, but one thing is for certain, what a great and exciting trip it will be for the eighth grade performing art students.