By: Bell West
The music program has seen its fair share of success in recent history, including 2018 when Glenelg scored highest overall in the superior category. But winning trophies and getting accolades aren't what made this trip so extraordinary; rather, it was the validation the groups received for their collective time and effort.
“It was sort of like a renewed celebration of all the hard work that goes into the music department,” said band director Chris Winters. “It was exciting to see the students get that recognition.”
Groups started to prepare for the trip as early as September. In addition to hours of practice and rehearsal time, participants also fundraised extensively to make the trip possible, and it all paid off, according to senior percussionist Bakhari Nokuri.
“It [the trip] instilled a sense of school pride and we all got to watch everyone put their best foot forward,” Nokuri said. “I’m proud of the outcome and the performance that we had.”
Glenelg took 10 groups to Orlando that performed over 2 days, including Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, Concert Band, Marching Band, Color Guard, Dance Team, String Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Choir, and Chamber Choir.
Groups selected their choice of music and performed in front of judges who scored each performance. The group with the top score in their category was awarded a trophy.
Or, in Glenelg’s case, trophies.
Still, according to members of the music department, the trip did more than just add hardware to display cases. The department also grew closer and became a more tight-knit community, and according to senior chamber choir member, Grace Bachmann, that’s what made the trip so special.
“I got to gain closer connections and it made the community even stronger and closer,” Bachmann said. “It bettered my relationships with people from other groups. The music department is definitely more tightly intertwined.”
Winters added: “It was the camaraderie. We aren’t separated by anything anymore. People from all different groups were cheering for each other and helping one another out.”
Theater director Kassidy Sharp and choir director Chris Fox agreed that “there was friendship across the board.”
However, the people the trip impacted most are the ones who have a limited time left at Glenelg.
Due to the Covid epidemic, the senior class was unable to attend the trip for their first three years. For them, the trip was unforgettable and well-deserved.
“We’ve never gotten to experience that and it's not often that we get those opportunities,” said Bachmann.
“It feels like we earned the trip after Covid and all the ups and downs,” added Nokuri. “Personally, it’s a great sendoff into college.”