It was early morning May 2 when 50-members of the Yosemite High School band, percussion, chamber singers, and 20 chaperones and support staff boarded two charter busses for the YHS music department's annual "Spring Tour." This year, the destination was what has been called "The Happiest Place On Earth Disneyland.
The three-day tour was filled with music education, performing, and a fair share of fun for the entire group.
On the first day of the tour, chamber singers, under the direction of Christel Biasell, performed on California Adventure Land's Hollywood Stage. The students performed several of their favorites including "At Last I See The Light," from Tangled, "You'll Be In My Heart," from Tarzan, and "Double Trouble" from Harry Potter. The singers were a huge success and well received by members in the audience.
"As the choral director for Yosemite High School, I was extremely pleased with the educational value with both Disneyland Performing Arts On Stage, and with Disneyland Performing Arts Workshop," Biasell said. "The superior professionalism that was exhibited by the Disney organization from the moment I first looked at the application form, until we exited the Disneyland Hollywood Stage, was evident. I knew that our Yosemite High Chamber Singers were receiving insight into the professional world of the American music industry."
On Saturday, May 3, the chamber singers participated in an "Excellence Workshop" at a Disney recording studio, where they recorded a Disney song which was later matched to an animated Disney scene.
On Sunday the band and percussion had a "Disney Work Day" with the band performing on the "Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree Stage." Under the direction of Randy Hyatt, Pat Mierkey and Francisco Marquez, the students performed "Selections from Frozen," and "Pixar Movie Magic." After the performance, band and percussion students also participated in the "Excellence Workshop." The workshop conductor gave the students 60 seconds to study and practice the music and on the second time through the band was recorded.
"The students had to step up and perform like the professionals," Hyatt said. "I was very proud of the standard of excellence demonstrated by our students."
Later that afternoon the percussion ensemble dazzled the crowd with some of their favorites and brought down the house with "Junkyard Rumble" utilizing garbage cans, and buckets. It was a long and busy day with some students working "Back Stage Disney" from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 5 p.m. it was back on the buses and on the road back home, arriving in the YHS parking lot about midnight.
For Hyatt this was more than the end of the year tour it was the end of a 32 year journey in music education.
"I can't think of a better place for our grand finale and couldn't ask for a better group of parents or students to work with," Hyatt said.
Choir concert Thursday
The Yosemite High School choral department will present its End of Year Choir Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, 39696 Highway 41. Cost is $3 per person.