Band Attends Disney Music Clinic

The Western Wayne High School Band took a field trip to Walt Disney World this past January. The band and color guard had the opportunity to participate in a music clinic at a soundstage on Disney property with professional musician Mr. Allen Grey. Grey owns a music publishing company and teaches workshops at Disney among many other accomplishments in the professional music industry.
For about three hours, the students worked with Grey as professional musicians would. Grey explained to the students that as high school students they sometimes take three to four months to perfect a series of songs but as a professional musician you have to achieve the same quality of sound in very little time. He explained how as a professional he has attended rehearsals and gone over a song once and then done the final recording immediately following.
Grey challenged the students to learn Disney songs on the spot at the clinic and worked to enhance their quality through his instruction. The students also had the benefit of having a Disney sound technician at the clinic who would record their music and then play it back for them so that the students and Grey could critique their work throughout the session.
“As a professional, you have to perform your music at performance level the first time you play,” Grey said. “Time is money.”
He explained to students that if a professional rehearsal goes over time into the next hour by even a minute that everyone gets paid for the extra hour. He helped the students have confidence in themselves as musicians to be able to work through and perfect a piece of music in a short period of time by putting their best effort in.
The students also had the chance to work with Lake Ariel native Erin Yunker. Erin works as a guest talent coordinator for Disney. She was thrilled to see Western Wayne scheduled to do the music clinic and jumped at the chance to work with students from her hometown.
The Western Wayne Band students along with their teachers Mrs. Elaine Ort, band director, and Mrs. Maria Arneil, assistant band director, played their instruments for the clinic session. The students in the color guard had the unique opportunity to work with the percussion section during the experience and enjoyed it so much that they might become permanent guest players in the percussion section during our upcoming football season.
“It was so fun to learn how to play an instrument at the clinic,” Izzy O’Donnell, one of this year’s color guard captains, said. “It was great to keep the beat of the music just like I would do during the season through our choreography just in a different way.”
Fellow student leader Evan Peirce, one of this year’s drum majors, agreed.
“It was really an exceptional experience to have the opportunity to play and learn music the way professionals do.”

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