Disney’s Candlelight Processional

 

The radiant glow of candlelight spotlights the beauty and sounds of the season

By Angie Roberts Harris

The Fairy Godmother waves her magic wand and the spirit of Christmas explodes in a twinkling winter wonderland setting! Since 1958, the Disney ‘Candlelight Processional’ has been telling the inspirational story of Christmas.  Celebrity guest narrators share the greatest story ever told while surrounded by an array of student choirs and the Voices of Liberty accompanied by a fifty-piece, world class Disney Orchestra. The candles held by the cast during the performance add a beautiful touch.

This dramatic holiday spectacular is held three times per night during the holiday season in the World Showcase at Epcot in Orlando, Florida. The open-air American Gardens Theatre sits on the banks of the World Showcase Lagoon near the American Pavilion.

Neil Patrick Harris lends his voice to the dramatic telling of the Christmas story

Celebrity guest narrators tell the story of Christmas each year with visitors from around the world. The 2016 lineup currently includes Steven Curtis Chapman, Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Meredith Vieira, Joe Morton, and Cal Ripkin Jr. Narrators are subject to change.

Student choirs compete for the privilege to share their vocal talents in Disney’s Candlelight Processional

The Candlelight Processional is part of ‘Holidays Around the World’ which celebrates the traditions of eleven countries with live musical performances, seasonal culinary treats and beverages, and holiday merchandise. Student groups across the country apply for the privilege of performing in this prestigious event.

 Who can apply?

All choirs 9th grade or higher can audition to be a part of the grand celebration! To apply, submit a copy of ‘O Holy Night’ from the production piece and a non-returnable DVD of a recent performance. Your group will be evaluated on interpretation and execution of music, showmanship and stage presence, accompanists, and overall show value.

When is rehearsal?

You will receive the show music 6-8 weeks before your appearance and a pre-performance rehearsal will be arranged with a guest conductor and professional Disney singers.

The stage is set for a spectacular holiday showcase

What about costumes?

Students are required to furnish full-length black dress pants (no jeans), a plain white shirt (no turtlenecks), black socks, and closed-toe black shoes (no sandals, flip-flops, or athletic shoes). Hair must be one solid natural color and make up must be modest. Jewelry is not allowed. Disney will provide robes and collars to wear during the show.

What’s for supper?

Disney will supply a boxed meal and beverage on the evening of the performance. During the rest of your stay on park, Disney Meal Cards may be purchased as part of your package. This allows each student the freedom of eating when and where according to their own preferences.

Even Donald wants to join in while your group enjoys all Disney has to offer during the holiday season!

Is there time to play?

Absolutely! Your students will have the opportunity to experience the park as Disney cast members and also enjoy awesome hospitality as Disney guests. They will receive two one-day, one-park tickets to the Walt Disney World Theme Parks.

Disney’s Performing Arts OnStage gives your group unrivaled performing experience

The Disney Experience.

Performing alongside the high caliber Disney orchestra and crew exposes your students to the extremely professional standards of Disney Performing Arts OnStage.  This student program encourages excelled performance, increases self-confidence, and fosters artistic discipline.

Kaleidoscope Adventures will handle the details of your trip with experience and ease!

Where do we start?

Call Kaleidoscope Adventures! Kaleidoscope has been traveling across the country every year since 1993 with thousands of students. They can create customized itineraries that include transportation, overnight accommodations, meals, and amazing educational and performance opportunities.

Kaleidoscope is located in the heart of Orlando and have worked with the Disney family for decades. An experienced tour director will know every detail of your itinerary, stay with your group throughout the entire trip, and ensure a magical and wonderful experience! Kaleidoscope Adventures is synonymous with student group travel and take the time to plan every element of your exciting adventure!

1-800-774-7337.

Fall for Marching Bands

Marching bands give ALL to their performances!

By Angie Roberts Harris

Marching Band Season

Beautiful colors, crisp air, and shorter days represent the fall season for many people. For band kids and their families, it also means countless practice hours, football Fridays, and competition Saturdays! Directors have worked tirelessly with their students to create new sounds and looks for a thrilling band season and exciting competitions.

Commitment

Each day, band students sacrifice their time, energy, and resources not only to improve their own musical ability but also for the strength and skill of the entire group. They arise before day break and retire late in their efforts to memorize and perfect their pieces and keep up with homework and other activities. Following all the hard work, they perform their accomplished musical arrangements and wait to be judged. Performing students are ambitious, detailed, hardworking, and tired!

Marching bands work tirelessly for a seamless performance!

Rewards

The thrill of performing in front of a large crowd can be stressful but satisfying and tons of fun! When an audience of strangers cheer, it is exhilarating to know that applaud is due to excellent performance and not because they are your village. Being acknowledged by others is a great reward!

The thrill of performing for an audience brings a smile everytime!

Time to Show Off

There are many opportunities across the country to perform in famous places such as Branson, MO, Disney World, Universal Studios, Washington, D.C., and New York City. These bucket list destinations provide once-in-a lifetime experiences and create lifelong memories.

Travel provides unique performance opportunities for hard-working band students

Give me a ring!

Making phone calls and booking for student groups is not fun! Being ‘on hold’, finding the right person, leaving messages, gathering information, and returning calls all take precious time and is frustrating, especially when you are initially calling for quotes and options. The process repeats itself following the reservation of every hotel, restaurant, performance venue, and transportation carrier on account of deposits, final counts, rooming lists, and constant changes. Whew! My experience has been to plan an hour for every 4 people you are booking; e.g. ten phone hours to make initial reservations for forty people.

Travel Support

Where can you find more information and choices about these fabulous trips? There are several ways to make reservations and here are some suggestions:

Group Travel Odyssey will help make your band performance magical!

Group Travel Odyssey

This site is designed for you to investigate destinations and group rates without making a single phone call! Simply choose a destination and click on the various items according to your interest. The different venues will then send a specific quote for your group and the entire process takes 15 minutes or less. Group Travel Odyssey is definitely the way to go if you opt to do all your own planning and booking. The sight is for your convenience in finding free information and quotes and is an amazing time saver! There is no place to enter a credit card and your information is not kept.

Student Group Travel Planning 

Let a student group travel company take the time consuming task of making reservations, tracking multiple deposits and payments, and coordinating changes off your hands! Their travel planners are excellent with student groups and work for their best interests. The biggest bonus is the special rates available to them because of the great relationships they have built with the attractions and hotels of your destination. In the long run, it will cost you less to let them do all the work!

Marching Bands Rock at Universal Studios in Orlando!

Kaleidoscope Adventures

Kaleidoscope is an award-winning student travel planning company, and their experienced travel planners have extensive knowledge of destinations across the country. They are located in Orlando, Florida and in the travel industry, they are especially known as experts on Disney, Universal, and Sea World. A professional tour director is either with your group the entire trip or on call 24 hours a day to take care of any urgent matters that may arise. This is my favorite option!

 

 

Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal

Macy’s and Universal are celebrating 15 years of great performances and fun!

By Angie Roberts Harris

Over ninety years ago, the Macy’s chain of department stores accidentally began the holiday spectacular of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Today, approximately 3.5 million people line the streets of Manhattan, New York every year on Thanksgiving Day to watch and cheer over 10k parade participants and magnificent floats! In 2001, Macy’s Studios partnered with Universal Orlando to create the ‘Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal’.

Kick off the holiday season with floats, fun and fantasy!

15th Anniversary

Larger- than-life balloons and beautiful Christmas floats from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade are delivered from New York to Universal Studios Florida each holiday season. The Universal Parade is celebrating its 15th Anniversary in 2016 and includes the same traditions of clowns, dancers, marching bands and ‘balloon handlers’ with the crowning moment of Santa’s appearance on the iconic Macy’s float.

The Rockettes bring Big Apple energy to the Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal

The Universal Touch

Universal has added additional featured balloons like Turkey Balloonicle that towers over the crowd with a self-powered vehicle and Holiday Lights Balloon that dazzles while floating through the air. Santa stops the parade with a traditional tree lighting ceremony with the famous New York City Rockettes and if you are near the Christmas Tree, snatch a photo opportunity as the Rockettes and other characters stay behind.

The head elf himself stops the parade for a stunning tree lighting ceremony

When does the parade start?

The parade kicks off with a ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. from December 3, 2016 – December 18, 2016 and begins at 8:00 p.m. from December 19, 2016 – January 1, 2017.

Your band or performance group will sparkle and shine in this dazzling venue

Sharing the Excitement

The Macy’s Holiday Parade at Universal would not be complete without marching bands, dance teams, and performance groups! Students have a wonderful opportunity to showcase their hard work and be rewarded with a chance to parade a mile through Universal Studios Florida amongst the famous balloons and floats from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Magic is always in the air at Universal- especially during the most magical time of year!

Is there time to play?

One of the great benefits of being in the Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal is that there is still plenty of time to play as the route does not take an entire day! Sip on a delicious butter beer, walk through Diagon Alley, or take the train from platform 9 ¾. Universal Studios provides an unbelievably fun playground for your performing student group.

Who can perform?

Student performance groups of forty or more can apply to participate by submitting a non-returnable DVD or link to your most recent performance featuring the uniform that would be worn during the parade. There is no application fee.

 

CThe Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal is a performance opportunity like no other

 

What to wear?

Uniforms are required for every performance and subject to approval.  Jeans and t-shirts are not permitted.

Details

Following acceptance, a performance date will be agreed upon and four weeks prior to your arrival, you will receive an itinerary. A stage technical chart will also be sent two weeks prior to the performance date to assess your entertainment needs.

Rest and Relax

Universal has several on site hotels featuring great locations, holiday buffets, visits from Santa, and other special character experiences.  In addition to being located within walking distance of Universal City Walk, you get early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Guests of preferred or premier hotels also receive Universal Express, which allows cardholders to skip ride lines and enjoy priority seating at select restaurants. Be sure and request Universal Dining Cards to be added to your package which allows the students to eat when and where they wish.

Capture the holiday spirit at the Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal

Sign us up!

Call Kaleidoscope Adventures! Kaleidoscope has been traveling across the country every year since 1993 with thousands of students. They can create customized itineraries that include transportation, overnight accommodations, meals, and amazing educational and performance opportunities.

Kaleidoscope is located in the heart of Orlando and they have worked with team Universal for decades. An experienced tour director will know every detail of your itinerary, stay with your group throughout the entire trip, and ensure your spot in the Macy’s Holiday Parade Universal! Kaleidoscope Adventures is synonymous with student group travel and take the time to plan every element of your exciting adventure!  1-800-774-7337.

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

OrlandoFest Partners with Universal Orlando

By Angie Roberts Harris

Learn, compete, and play!

Students have worked hard throughout the year learning from their skilled music teachers and preparing for competition season! Finding the perfect and educational event is definitely a winner. Throw in a world-class theme park to reward the kids and you have an exceptional winner winner chicken dinner that can’t be beat!

Students love OrlandoFest at Universal Studios!

OrlandoFest partners with Universal Orlando Resorts every year to produce an outstanding and educational music festival. On select Saturdays from March through June, student performance groups have the opportunity to participate in the music festival or workshops. This unique competitive and non-competitive music festival includes options for music ensembles from elementary through high school levels. Bands, choirs, orchestras, and percussion ensembles as well as dance, ukulele, and guitar groups are invited to attend the four-month event.

Epic times at Universal Studios!

Where is the festival held?

Concert performances take place in state-of-the-art performing arts centers at several local Orlando high schools located in close proximity to Universal Orlando Resort. Festival weekends conclude with an exciting award ceremony at Universal Orlando.

Talented performers can showcase skills at top-notch performing arts facilities

Performance Workshops

During the two-hour customized workshops, students develop performance skills, enhance individual musicianship, and increase confidence and self-esteem. These fun and educational workshops are offered all year round and open to school- age children:

♣ Sight reading

♣ The Daily Superior

♣ Sound is Everything

♣ What do you SEE?

♣ Do you feel what I feel?

♣ The Judicious Tempo

♣ Musical Substance vs. Musical ‘Activity’

♣ Giving State Assessment the Edge

What is included?

The festival includes the following:

♣ Performance evaluated by nationally recognized adjudicators

♣ Digital recording of your performance and adjudicator comments

♣ Post-performance clinic conducted by select adjudicator

♣ OrlandoFest award for each ensemble

♣ OrlandoFest gift for each director, participant, and chaperone

♣ High-energy Gala Awards ceremony

♣ Admission to Universal Orlando Resort

A great weekend trip for your student performance group!

Universally Speaking:

All festival packages include a two or three day park admission to Universal Studios Florida plus Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Your students will experience the enchanting Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the thrill of Transformers and other movie sets. Festival bands will have the chance to perform in Universal Orlando at the world’s premier movie and TV based theme park.

Students will have a magical time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Kaleidoscope Adventures

Kaleidoscope has been traveling across the country every year since 1993 with thousands of students. They can create customized itineraries that include transportation, overnight accommodations, meals, and amazing educational and performance opportunities.

Kaleidoscope knows kids! Student group travel is fun and easy with the right partner!

Kaleidoscope is located in the heart of Orlando and they have worked with team Universal for decades. An experienced tour director will know every detail of your itinerary, stay with your group throughout the entire trip, and ensure your spot in Universal’s parade! Kaleidoscope Adventures is synonymous with student group travel and take the time to plan every element of your exciting adventure!  1-800-774-7337.

“Do. Stop. Do. Think. Do. Analyze.  It is the circle of improvement.”

Angie Harris, Going Out The Door