Bands take spring break trip to New York City

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Armed with pillows, blankets and a surplus of gadgets to keep them entertained on the nearly 12 hour bus ride to Columbus, Ohio, 62 students boarded two charter buses at 7:45 am on March 10, marking the first major trip for the bands under the new band director Brad Wallace.

“Probably the most memorable moment on the way there was when, just two hours from our final destination, we were held up in traffic by a road littered with tacks. Although we were tired and ready to arrive, it was amusing,” junior Jonah Hathaway said.

Once in Columbus, the students stopped at Ohio State University for a clinic with Dr. Jeffrey Gershman, the Director of Bands at Capital State University. The combined bands played three pieces titled Creed, Spirals of Light and Perthshire Majesty and were given advice on how to improve their musicianship.

“I am a big believer in student travel, especially with band students,” Wallace said. “[This trip] really allowed students from all three classes to become closer and establish camaraderie.”

After spending a night in Ohio and tackling the roads once more the following day for eight hours, it was off to Manhattan from the hotel in New Jersey. Despite one of the buses breaking down, the trip continued with three days of sightseeing around the area after the students managed to fit on one bus.

“For whatever reason, our bus driver had decided to do a three point turn because we had missed the turn to get to Yankee Stadium, and then we were stuck,” Hathaway said. “Our incident went all over Snapchat and Instagram. It was surprising, then funny, even though I was disappointed to miss Yankee Stadium. I ended up staying while the others moved on to [the Medieval Times dinner show] until the tow truck showed up to pull us to where we could move again.”

The students visited iconic sights including s Radio City Music Hall and Central Park throughout the week, and even received a backstage tour of Madison Square Garden.

“My favorite part of the trip was definitely the cruise down the Hudson River,” sophomore Lauren Chapman said. “We could see the Manhattan skyline at night, which was really beautiful. It was a formal dinner, [but] we had the floor to ourselves. It was just really fun to laugh and talk and dance with each other, especially after four days of fun experiences and making memories together.”

The students were forced to cancel the events planned for March 14 due to the blizzard that brought nearly eight inches of snow into the streets. Stuck in the hotel for a day, students were allowed to gather in the breakfast room throughout the day to pass the time.

“Having to be snowed in probably sounds worse than it actually was,” freshman Sissy Lyerla said. “I mean, swimming in the middle of March was cool, and I’ve never seen that much snow before.”

In spite of the complications along the way, the trip was a successful first for the bands, a trend that Wallace hopes to continue in the future with a large-scale trip every four years and a smaller one every two. The overall positivity from the students on the experience was enough to ensure it would happen again.

“It was an opportunity to see some really interesting things,” freshman Madalynn Pastor said. “[Especially] viewing the Statue of Liberty at night from a boat. The trip was incredible and unforgettable.”