On Saturday August 1, 2015 guests visiting Disneyland were delighted to experience the 45th anniversary of the All-American College Band Program. The anniversary was celebrated with a special pre-parade performance before Mickey’s Soundsational Parade and began in Town Square, USA in front of the Train Station. The 2015 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band was joined by alumni of the program from both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Together this created a band of over 100 members performing together at the Happiest Place on Earth.
The All-American College Band 45th Anniversary Reunion began with the combined bands marching out to the Train Station in Town Square. They were joined by former where this year’s band performed Uptown Funk for the guests and the alumni band. Following this rousing performance it was time for the combined college and alumni band to perform together. Dr. Ron McCurdy, the current director for the band, invited former director Dr. Art Bartner to the center. Dr. Art Bartner directed the first song performed by the combined band which was appropriately the theme song for the band, Bubbles Was a Cheerleader. Dr. Ron McCurdy then led the band as they played a Disney Movie Medley. Following this Dr. Rick Goodstein, former director of the Walt Disney World Resort All-American College Band, was invited forward to lead the band through an abbreviated version of the Earth, Wind & Fire medley. The performance in front of the Train Station wrapped up with A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.
Following the set in front of the Train Station, the combined band marched up the parade route with stops on Main Street, USA and also near it’s a small world. On Main Street, USA former director Dave Goodman was invited forward to lead the band as it performed Under the Sea from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. In both locations they performed Goin’ Down the Bayou from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. As they were marching they also performed Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration celebration song Live the Magic.
The 45th Anniversary celebration of the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band program was energetic, fun, and powerful. Watching the band perform one noticed many members of the alumni band who now perform or work in different roles throughout the Disneyland Resort. Still others have gone on to incredibly successful music careers outside of the Disney. It really is incredible the amount of talent that comes out of this program and feeds into both the Disney music community and the music community at large.
The 2015 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band program started this tradition of musical excellence in 1971. Since then it has had thousands of students perform throughout the past 45 summers at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. The band is composed of 21 members who perform 5 days a week (Tuesday through Saturday) for 11 weeks in the summer. Each day they perform five sets: one jazz set and four marching/show band sets.
The program also gives students the chance to experience what is like to work as a professional musician as guest clinicians come in to share their insight and experience throughout the summer. These clinicians also generally perform with the band during their jazz set. Some clinicians have included the likes of Sal Lozano, Wayne Bergeron, Jiggs Whigham, Steve Houghton, Gregg Field, Ron Carter, Rex Richardson, and John Clayton to name a few. Each band member also has an educational focus for the summer that can be one of the following: Composition and Arranging; Careers in Music; Recording and Production. Finally, the band also gets the opportunity to record at Capitol Records.
This year’s band will continue to perform at the Disneyland Resort through August 14th.
Visit DAPs Magic’s Disneyland Resort All-American College Band page for more information on this program.