Stettler Concert Band members got a taste of Hollywood during a school trip this month.
“All directors who worked with them commented to me on their professional conduct and their enthusiasm,” said bad director Eric Rahn, who has taught music in Stettler schools for 20 years.
Featuring students from grades seven to 12, the 93-member Stettler band performed a 30-minute concert on Hollywood Stage and California Adventures and learned new music and techniques as part of the Disney Performing Arts Series from May 8 to 13.
“I was really proud of the students,” Rahn said of the largest band he has led on a trip.
“They represented themselves, the schools and their communities very well.”
When the lights came on as the band played O Canada, “the students also brightened up and played to a higher level,” Rahn said.
“They sounded wonderful and it seemed to make it all come together.”
Although the audience was small, the concerts sounds were broadcast over much of the popular amusement park, with thousands of people on the grounds.
During a workshop led by a Disney composer and conductor, the Stettler band learned parts of the score to The Lion King and Atlantis, and recorded a brief sound track to accompany the video.
“The whole band got a headset so they could hear the whole band,” Rahn said.
“All of the students wanted to stay longer in this workshop.”
Students were also inspired from another workshop given by a conductor from California State University.
“She worked with them on new pieces, and it was a different voice in front of them,” Rahn said.
During the trip, the students and 17 parent chaperones also toured old Los Angeles.
Some of the sites might have changed for Rahn, whose first band trip to Disneyland as a teacher was in 1999.
That was the same school year that the William E. Hay High School drama club launched Grease, which was also staged by Wildcat Theatre last fall.
Rahn was specially grateful for the chaperones and strong community support and fundraising since the band was accepted in its audio and video audition last September.