EC’s Band and Choir scores big at Disney

By Mia Randall, Editor in Chief

For the first time since COVID quarantine, on March 30 and 31, EC’s Choir and Band went to California State University, Bakersfield and Disneyland where they participated in interactive workshops with professors, directors and clinicians. 

In Bakersfield, both programs were able to perform for their respective CSUB directors and receive thoughtful feedback on their skills. 

The following day, the groups arrived at Disneyland and participated in another workshop where they directly worked with Disney employees. Band performed multiple soundtracks which consisted of the Disney theme song, the Marvel theme song and the final scene from The Lion King

Band Director Gabriel Read accompanied the band program and emphasized what a great opportunity it was for EC’s own band program. 

“We got a glimpse of what it was like to be in that professional recording space and do what recording groups do,” Read said.

After they performed, EC’s recordings were overlaid with the scenes from the movies they corresponded with so the students were able to see their own music with the clips. 

“We got to see firsthand in a really unique way that music doesn’t just have to be something you do at school,” Read said. “Even if you’re not making it into a career, it’s something you can continue to do and love for the rest of your life.”

Jazz Band Member Ella Clinciu (‘23) has been a part of EC’s band program since her freshman year. Despite Clinciu’s long term commitment to the band, this was her first official trip with the class. She thought the trip was very valuable and applauded the professionalism and enthusiasm of the Disney clinician the EC band worked with. 

“The person who was instructing us was very educated, smart and super cool—she sang and played music and also had a lot of good advice,” Clinciu said. 

While the band was doing their own recording sessions, EC’s Choir was doing the same. They sang The Muppets theme song and a song from Enchanted. Like the band, the songs the choir sang were put together with the clips from the films. 

Choir Director David Vanderbout explained that the workshops were a really good learning experience for students to see what music was like outside of the classroom. 

“We have choir everyday and we’re working towards getting better everyday, but in the real world, everything goes so fast and that’s what I think our students got out of it—how much they have to do in such a short amount of time,” Vanderbout said. “They don’t really have time in the real world to take hours or weeks to put things together.”

Vanderbout explained that in a period of four years, the music programs will usually do three local trips and one out of state trip, but due to COVID quarantine, all trips got put on hold. 

“This was a big step for our program, especially post-COVID, getting our programs back out beyond our community and into the larger world—[the trip] went really well and we’re looking forward to next year,” Vanderbout said. 

This year would have been a big trip year, but since they’re just now getting back into the usual routine of things, they decided to postpone the out of state trip until next year. 

Choir is always looking for more students to join their program. 

“You don’t have to have previous singing experience—we have places in our program for every level,” Vanderbout said. 

For more information about EC’s Choir and Band programs and how to join, email or or visit their rooms.

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