Magic was in the air for 50 Minarets High School marching band members Monday, March 25 as they walked down Main Street Disneyland in Anaheim, performing for crowds lined up along the road.
Minarets music teacher Bill Samuelson said his students have been looking forward to marching in Disneyland for years -- some since middle school. However it's been a lot of hard work to see that dream come true.
In the 2007-08 school year, the marching band got second place in the Santa Cruz Band Review so they sent in their application to perform in Disneyland but were rejected. Last year, the band's numbers were moving up so they tried out for the Santa Cruz band review and Minarets percussion got second place. Then this year, they received first place in Pismo for their band division and percussion also got first place in Pismo for their division.
Band members began asking Samuelson about Disneyland again so he began gathering all the materials to apply again and sent in their application to the Disney Performing Arts Showcase at the end of February. The band was finally accepted, but to participate they had to raise $12,000 -- so the band got busy.
"The community was very generous helping us out and donated about $4,500 to the trip," Samuelson said, adding that students only had to pay $160 each because of the generous community contributions. "Randy Hyatt and the Yosemite High School band also helped us out by loaning us a Sousaphone, some marching shoes, and boxes to transport our uniforms."
On Sunday, March 24, the marching band loaded up their instruments and uniforms into a truck and headed down to Disneyland. At 6:25 p.m., Monday, March 25, they began their march from Main Street at Disney's entrance all the way to "It's a Small World."
"We had wonderful parent support," Samuelson said. "We had 50 students and 45 parents and family members with us in the park. Outstanding help came from Gary Talley, who drove our truck, Tiffany Gilkinson, who did hair and make up, and Brett Moglia, a former Marine band member who had his sewing kit and did last minute fixes on the uniforms."
Also present for the performance was Minarets Principal Mike Niehoff and his wife Michelle and State Assemblyman Frank Bigelow and his wife Barbara Bigelow, who is Chawanakee School Board chairwoman.