Show Choirs will light up Universal Studios!

OrlandoFest info

Next year the anticipation is high for Show Choirs from all over the United States who will be traveling to Orlando to take part in the OrlandoFest President’s Day Show Choir Spectacular.  This premiere event will take place at the Universal Orlando Resort February 14-17, 2014.  OrlandoFest has been recognized as Central Florida’s best performing arts music festival, and is a music festival/competition offering elementary, middle school, junior high and senior high school performance ensembles the chance to showcase their musical talents on stage before adjudicators who are leaders in the music industry. What better way to kick off your show choir season than to participate in this outstanding festival in Orlando, Florida?

Show choirs are better than they have ever been and are looking for even more ways to challenge themselves and be challenged through competition.  Each year when February rolls around show choirs from all over are competing even harder for the recognition and the hardware.  Sets are much more elaborate, arrangements more intricate and the format of show choir is more complex than it has ever been before.  The number of truly great groups is also increasing and with that comes a greater challenge for everyone involved.  “Swing choirs” of the past have now added rhinestones and sequins and more intricate choreography to transition into the “Show Choirs” of today.  There are plenty of choices for local and regional competitions, but the time has come for a competition that will allow groups to measure themselves and their performance at a national level early in the season.

Inspired by the hit TV show, GLEE, there has been a tremendous resurgence of show choirs all around the world with inspiration to compete and perform at the highest level.  Choral Directors, whether they wish to admit it or not, owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the producers of this show for reintroducing this style of performance and for helping show choir students feel a greater acceptance by the general public.  With the popularity of this show, as well as SMASH, and many recent hit movie musicals, starring celebrated stars of stage and screen, it is now considered “cool” to sing outside of the comfort of your own shower.

The OrlandFest President’s Day Show Choir Spectacular will allow show choirs to participate in either a competitive or non-competitive music festival performance, including a post-performance evaluation by national recognized show choir adjudicators.  Besides your performance, the weekend will include an exciting schedule of events, combining the adventure, fun and excitement of the Universal Orlando Resort’s two theme parks, Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure.  Plus, each participating show choir will receive a DVD video recording of their performance and an awards ceremony including soloist awards, best show choir, and more.

Kaleidoscope Adventures is proud to be a part of this brand new Spectacular.  Our team has delivered thousands of performance, education and fun adventure tours to high school and middle school student groups throughout North America.  With over a century of combined experience in the group travel industry, our expert team includes Certified Travel Industry Specialists (certified through the American Bus Association) and Certified Student Travel Planners (certified through the Student & Youth Travel Association) who have backgrounds as former teachers, music educators, group travel professionals and performers.  Our team will work hard to ensure your tour is everything you hoped for and more.  We look forward to working with you and your show choir to plan a complete trip to Orlando that will create memories that will last a lifetime.  Are you up for the challenge?  When your group is ready for a performance tour like no other, give Kaleidoscope Adventures a call!

Student Group Travel to New York City: Thank Heaven for Little Girls!

New York City Student Trips

It is a great year to be a little girl if you are experiencing Broadway for the first time.  This season offers shows that have never been more perfect for young theatre-goers. Shows including Annie, Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella and Matilda the Musical are written and performed exclusively for this audience. There are a few other current offerings marketed to student groups, Newsies, Spiderman and The Lion King, though the majority of the newly anticpated shows are for an older crowd.

“Little Girls, Little Girls, Everywhere I turn I can see them.”  Annie, starring newcomers Lilla Crawford and Sunny as her lovable sidekick Sandy, is currently playing in the heart of Times Square at the Palace Theatre.  Everyone’s favorite redheaded orphan and her scruffy mutt Sandy make their way in Depression-era New York from a dismal orphanage to the home of billionaire Daddy Warbucks. The Tony Award-winning musical includes the songs “Tomorrow,” “Little Girls,” “Easy Street,” “NYC” and “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile.”  Leapin’ Lizards this show is a hit and is perfect for any little girl.

“The Prince is giving a Ball!!!”  The classic fairy tale Cinderella, starring Laura Osnes as the lead and Santino Fontana as her prince is making its Broadway debut.  This new version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic television production adds songs from the duo’s catalogue and puts a new spin on the fairy tale.  Cinderella is the only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written for television. It was originally broadcast live on CBS on March 31, 1957 as a vehicle for Julie Andrews, who played the title role. The broadcast was seen by over 100 million people. It was subsequently remade for television twice, in 1965 and 1997. The 1965 version starred Lesley Ann Warren, and the 1997 one starred Brandy, in the title role. This beloved Rodgers and Hammerstein musical offers a new romantic twist on the ultimate makeover story of a maid-turned-princess, mixing fresh comedy with the fairy tale’s classic elements — the pumpkin, glass slipper, masked ball and more.

“But this Little Girl, This Miracle, She seems not to know that she’s Special at all.”  This spring we will finally see the arrival of the highly anticipated Matilda the Musical based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl.  Matilda the Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who decided that despite a bad beginning filled with rotten parents, a terrifying school and a vicious head mistress, her story is going to be an astonishing one.  With the help of her teacher, her friends and a lot of imagination, Matilda proves that even if you’re little, you can do very big things.  This London musical has already won seven Olivier Awards, which are the British equivalent of a Tony Award.  This show is ideal for student groups and is likely to inspire a new generation of theatre fans.

Other new shows, though not necessarily for our student groups, will include Motown the Musical, the new musical based on the life of music producer and hit-maker Berry Gordy, and Kinky Boots, based on the 2005 British film with the same name, with a score by Cyndi Lauper, book by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein and direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell.  After an overwhelming engagement in Cambridge, MA, the American Repertory Theater production of Pippin, the Tony Award-winning medieval pop musical fable by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson, will transfer to Broadway’s Music Box Theatre in March.  Pippin will star Matthew James Thomas, Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, in the title role and Patina Miller, Tony nominee from Sister Act, as the leading player, in a new circus-inspired take on the material choreographed in the style of original choreographer Bob Fosse.  Another new show making its way to the great white way is Hands on a Hardbody, a musical inspired by true events, when ten hard-luck Texans enter a contest in which they must keep their hands on a brand new truck in order to win it. In the hilarious, hard-fought contest that is Hands on a Hardbody only one winner can driver away with the American Dream.

Of course, many great shows are still playing Broadway including last year’s Tony Award winner for Best New Musical, Once, Tony Award winner for Best Choreography, Newsies, and everyone’s favorite superhero in Spiderman: Turn off the Dark.  Disney’s The Lion King has become a favorite for student groups and offers some amazing workshop opportunities for those that wish to enhance their theatre experience.  And, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, and Chicago are among the longest running shows on Broadway and are perfect for any first time theatre goers.

Kaleidoscope Adventures loves New York City, and we are sure that your student groups will, too! We are excited to work with all types of student groups to customize a trip that is perfect for you.  The opportunities in New York City are incredible and a visit to this destination is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.  Let Kaleidoscope Adventures start planning your student group travel to New York City today!