Day Nine: The Disneyland Resort All-American College Band – 24 Days of Thanksgiving

As we continue 24 Days of Thanksgiving I would be remiss if I were not to express my thanks for the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band. This collection of exceptional college students come to the Disneyland Resort each summer and perform throughout the resort. It is always a highlight of the year. Through the years there have been thousands of students who have been a part of this program. We have also seen several leaders of the band throughout the years as well.

My earliest memories of the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band go back to 2001. I hadn’t seen or experienced the band yet. However, a guy I was in a college band with had played saxophone that summer in the band. Having been an Annual Passholder at Disneyland since 1995, I was a bit surprised that I didn’t know about the band. However, back then it was all about getting on as many rides as quickly as possible when visiting Disneyland. You can bet that when I went back to Disneyland my eyes and ears were open as I wandered through Disneyland. The next few years I bumped into them once in awhile but not nearly as often as I would have liked. Occasionally I would catch a marching set but it seems like most of the time I would catch them during the patriotic flag retreat in Town Square. At the time they would play a version of the Star Spangled Banner that was arranged by John Williams. It was incredible.

As the world got more digital and YouTube became a thing, we realized that we could capture the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band for posterity. This was initially as much for our own enjoyment as anyone else’s. However, soon we realized that parents, family, and friends of band members who were unable to see the band perform live at Disneyland loved these videos even more than we did. This began a yearly tradition of recording as many performances of the band as we possibly could that hopefully benefits everyone associated with the band.

Through the years the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band hasn’t just provided incredible music and entertainment. It has led to friendships that have lasted decades now. Some of these people that we have made friendships with are no longer able to make it into the parks anymore for whatever reason. We still hear from via YouTube comments as they experience performances vicariously through our videos. Others have gone on to bigger and better things and we get to see them when they visit. Still others we see every summer as we record the band and it is like a reunion each June.

The discovery of the college band so many years ago has led to so many rewarding friendships and experiences that I am so thankful for. I’m also thankful for the program itself and the music that is performed because of it. There are so many that are a part of it (or have been), that make it happen each year (on stage and off), and that surround it as fans that are absolutely incredible. It is a highlight of every summer and I am always looking forward to whatever the next performance is!

Are you thankful for the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band? Please share your moments, thoughts, or experiences that you are thankful for around the Disneyland Resort All-American College Band in the comments below!

40th Anniversary – Disneyland Resort All-American College Band

45th Anniversary – Disneyland Resort All-American College Band

2007 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band

2022 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band


One response to “Day Nine: The Disneyland Resort All-American College Band – 24 Days of Thanksgiving”

  1. Minnie McCormick Avatar
    Minnie McCormick

    Thank you SO much for sharing this Mr. DAPs. :) My husband is the Music Director of the AACB. He has worked with this group for 20 years, but became their Music Director in 2019. It’s definitely a highlight of the year for him to audition them, pick them, and work with them over the summer. It’s a highlight for me to be able to be their unofficial “Band Mom” :) It’s such a wonderful program and we’ve met some amazing people and musicians through the years. <3 See you next summer!

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