Orlando, FL – On Thursday, May 23rd, 2019, the Foxcroft Academy marching band finally had the chance to perform at Disney’s Magic Kingdom park after four years of practice and preparation. The 2015 marching band began the tradition of auditioning to play at Walt Disney World years prior. Since that initial performance, students, parents, and supporters have organized fundraisers and events to help raise money to make this possible for a second time.
The band began their long bus ride for Orlando, Florida early Monday morning. After a tiring thirty-hour journey, the students and chaperones arrived at Disney’s ‘All-Star Sports Resort’ to settle in. That Tuesday night, students went swimming in the resort’s pools, played ping pong and corn hole, and enjoyed the food and arcade inside. On Wednesday, the day before their performance, students visited Disney’s Epcot.
Joshua Guthrie, the band’s teacher, said before the event, “We’re going to be braving the heat. We’re used to marching in 30-degree weather, not 90-degree weather.” In the audition tape shot months before, the band marched in the street while piles of snow sat beside them—they were used to the cold. However, Guthrie did not seem too worried. “The band should sound great,” he said, “they’re well prepared.”
Standing at the entrance of the park and hearing them play for the first time, it was evident the band prepared more than enough for this moment. “I Want You Back,” and “ABC” by the Jackson 5 blared for a large crowd lined along the streets of Magic Kingdom’s ‘Main Street USA,’ and behind them stood the illustrious Cinderella Castle, one of Disney’s symbols. That Thursday in Orlando the temperature raised to 90 degrees. Despite the heat, the band put on their heavy, long-sleeved uniforms and performed for park-goers who were delighted by their music, considering it part of the “magic” that Walt Disney World guarantees.
Afterward, as the students entered the park from backstage to greet parents and chaperones, the excitement and pride were visible in all of their faces—their hard work had paid off. Succeeding the taking of many group photos, they had the rest of the evening to enjoy Magic Kingdom.
On their last day before heading home, the band attended Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. The students had the time of their lives at all of the Disney parks, while also being the second class in Foxcroft Academy’s history to perform and represent at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.