Disney 2016 Information Page

Disney Photograph Ordering Information

Every student who participated in the 2016 Disney trip will receive one 8" x 10" group photograph for each group that they were part of for the trip (either PHS Marching Band, PHS Concert Band or both). These photographs were prepaid and are souvenirs for all of the student participants (no additional payments necessary). I expect these photographs to arrive and be distributed during the first week of June. In addition, Disney Event Photography has also set up a website ordering system for additional copies & sizes as well as individual candid shots and candid/group photograph combos. You will need to enter your email or login via Facebook.

Disney Update – Day #6

Saturday has arrived so quickly. It is our last full-day in Florida and it is all about our Festival Disney performance. The morning started off with a 7am wake-up/breakfast call. It appears that our decision to give everyone that extra time to recharge on Thursday was the right one. Everyone seemed well-rested and ready to go. At 9am, we started unloading the equipment from the truck while the hotel staff turned our breakfast room into a makeshift rehearsal space. We had a very productive 60-minute rehearsal session where we made our final adjustments for the afternoon performance. The lunch arrangements were the same as the previous day's at Ci-Ci's. This was a very convenient and affordable meal option for us. After lunch, students got into concert attire, picked-up their instruments and started loading the busses. We departed our hotel at 1:30. Our destination was the iconic Contemporary Resort hotel (yes the one with the monorail running through it). The performance was held in the "Ballroom of the Americas." It was a fabulous performance set up. Everything was perfect (would not expect anything less from Disney). The announcement for our group was pre-recorded by the official voice of the Disney parks. Everyone had goosebumps. The students were so incredibly focused on their performance. It was some of their best playing to-date. I then had the pleasure of relinquishing the podium to one of our adjudicators. He had some very complimentary things to say about the group and their performance. The amazing thing thing was to watch him squeeze out an even higher level of excellence in their performance of a few different section of the pieces, showing the kids that there is always room for growth. The results would have to wait until later this evening. There was hint of things to come when one of the Festival Disney Coordinators chased me down as we were leaving asking for the name of the Saxophone soloist in the second selection. We had a quick stop back at the hotel to get changed for the evening. We then headed to Disney's Typhoon Lagoon for the evening. The kids were able to get some dinner at the park and then join the dance party happening on the beach. There were at least 1,000 students present. While I had asked the kids not to swim (we had already packed), I did allow them to get wet up to their knees. The presentation of awards stared at 7:30. The Concert Band received a "Superior" rating (although the announcer pulled a Steve Harvey and mistakenly announced the rating as "Excellent"), "Best-in-Class" award, overall "Silver Mickey" for second highest score (92.7) across all divisions, and an "Outstanding Soloist" award for alto saxophone Sarah Melanson. After a little more celebration & dancing, it was back to the hotel to load the truck. It was a team effort to complete the loading process. Everyone was in back in their rooms at or before midnight. What a FABULOUS day!

Disney Update – Day #5

It's Friday and everyone is exhausted from Thursday's marathon day. We had some flexibility in our schedule so we adjusted to give everyone some additional time to sleep-in, have breakfast, then hang out by the pool. The students were given their Festival Disney T-Shirts along with their "Disney-Performer" mouse ears. These are specially made for performers and are not available for sale anywhere. We got everyone together to walk across the street to have lunch at Ci-Ci's pizza. The restaurant got 150 people in, fed and out the door in just under an hour. Most interesting menu item was definitely the mac & cheese pizza. Can't say I have ever seen that. Once we were done with lunch, we headed to Disney's Hollywood Studios for our final day in the parks. The favorite attractions were the Rockin' Roller Coaster, just about everything Star Wars, and the Indiana Jones Stunt Theatre where our very own Vivien Burnell (staff) was invited to be an on-stage extra for the show. The evening concluded with an amazing fireworks show that was choreographed to music from the various Star Wars soundtracks. The surprise highlight was while we were gathering to go meet the busses. One of the Disney attendants noticed the large amount of our students hanging out with light sabres and got them together in an organized group light saber battle. It was quite the sight. Check out the video!

Disney Update – Day #4

It's Thursday and the Clipper Band is headed to the Magic Kingdom for the entire day. It was the hottest day of the week with temperatures in the low-mid nineties. After spending about 8 hours exploring classic attractions such as Space Mountain, Pirates  of the Caribbean, and of course, It's A Small World, it was time to get ready for our parade. Thankfully once the sun went down, the temperature dropped about 15-20 degrees. The group met at the "Golden Oak Outpost" which is the in-park entrance to the back stage area near Frontierland. This is the "top-secret" section of the park for Disney performers only. Everyone in the band got to see what goes on behind the scenes to create that "Disney magic." After getting dressed and warmed-up, the students were walked backstage to the starting position near the front of the park. Tonight was dubbed "New Hampshire Night" as both Laconia High School and Portsmouth High School marching bands were in the evening parade. As we entered the park, the students were immediately greeted by thousands of cheering spectators lining the parade route. Once they rounded the rotary onto Main Street, the Cinderella's castle came into view, all illuminated in a variety of colors. It was an amazing sight. There had to be over 10,000 people or more lining Main Street. We marched towards Walt Disney's Stature in front of the castle and headed towards Frontier land marching right past the home of the Country Bear Jamboree. Portsmouth family members who were at the beginning of the parade, dashed through the various shops and side streets to catch a glimpse of the band multiple times. Before we knew it, we were back at the Golden Oak outpost and the parade was done. It was short but extremely intense. Many tears of joy and exhaustion everywhere. The Clipper Band looked great and sounded great! We headed backstage to change and load the truck. After that, we were escorted back into the park just in time to see the fireworks over the castle. It was a great ending to a long hot & magical day.

Disney Update – Day #3

Our third full-day had us splitting the group up in the morning. While the band was returning to Universal Studios for our second and final time, the members of the PHS Colorguard started the morning with their "Auxilliration" workshop in one of the actual Disney dance audition studios. The girls were coached by a Disney choreographer in all aspects of movement and "Disney-level" performance. They were able to put together a short routine to Disney music and even had a guest appearance from the one and only Goofy!  Back at the parks, students had the opportunity to float between Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios park areas. Lots of time was spent in the attractions and shops that were inside as the temperature cracked 90 degrees. The late afternoon was spent in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney). The students were able to visit a variety of shops and choose their own place to eat. The evening concluded with some well-needed pool time. We also started preparations for the big parade on Thursday evening in Magic Kingdom. Here is a link to some additional pictures from the trip.

Disney Update – Day #2

Our second full day started off with an early morning formal photo shoot in Epcot. Group photos were taken of the Marching and Concert Bands. All of the students were then photographed individually. All students will receive group photos as part of their trip package a few weeks after we return. Individual photos will be available to order through a web service set-up by Disney. I will forward the link once it is set-up by Disney in a couple of weeks. After the photo shoot, we went into our Instrumental recording workshop/session. It was an amazing two-and-a-half hour clinic that had the students sight reading music from Disney's Haunted House attraction, Star Wars movies & Frozen. We were presented with a DVD of our movie trailer recording to Frozen with a slideshow of student candids from the clinic set to our Star Wars recording, complete with sound effects provided by the instructors. Once the clinic was over, we transitioned into park-mode in Epcot for the rest of the day. The evening ended with a surprise dessert party complete with prime reserved waterside seating for the evenings spectacular fireworks show. It was a great day!  

Disney Update – Day #1

Our first full day in Disney is in the books. Everyone had a great time in Universal Studios. Spiderman, Jurassic Park and Harry Potter attractions were favorites. Lots of wand purchases at Olivander's and of course let's not forget the Butterbeer. We had the whole group meet at Hard Rock Cafe for a rockin' dinner. Got back to the hotel, did some prep work for our busy day tomorrow, and then had time for an evening swim. Thanks to Suzanne and Marc Vogt for posting pictures from Day 1 on Flicker. Click Here. Kids were all great and looking forward to the day in Epcot on Tuesday.

Disney Trip Text Notification System

I will be using the "Remind" group-text notification service while away on the Disney Trip. This will be my primary method of communicating with everyone while on the trip.  Please sign-up for the appropriate groups by following the instructions provided in the links below.

Disney Trip Final Paperwork To Be Turned In

PHS Band Disney Rehearsal Schedule

This information was sent out in an email back on March 14th. I am posting it on the website as a reminder. Here is the Concert & Marching Band full-group rehearsal schedule for our upcoming Disney trip. As you can see, all of the dates fall in the two week window prior to the trip. I did my best to stay away from weekends as well as limit the after-school conflicts to just two Fridays. Essentially, the schedule is similar to the Monday & Wednesday evening Fall MB schedule but ending at 8pm instead of 8:30pm. Please make note of the trip meeting in the auditorium for everyone on Monday 4/18 from 7-8pm. I am requiring that every student participant have at least one parent/guardian in attendance.

Helpful Theme Park Information

I would like to thank Celeste Ledoux and her "Disney professional” friend Kelly for taking the time to put together some theme park advice to share with you. I am including a pdf copy in this email and it will also be posted up on the website. In addition, they have volunteered their time to assist any student/adult who would like to set-up Disney accounts and book fast passes in advance via the Disney app. Please click here to sign-up for a time. They will be using the PHS Music Tech Lab in the evenings on Tuesday 4/5 and Thursday 4/7 of this week from 7-8pm. Any student who would like to register fast passes online at home will need their ticket ID number to create an account. As each ticket has a unique number, I do not want to send out over 200 individual emails. I also do not want to send out the entire list to everyone for security reasons. If you would like your number, you may obtain it from me at school during morning band or lunch this week, or you may stop by on Tuesday/Thursday evening to obtain your number from the list that Celeste Ledoux will have. 3 weeks and counting! Remember to follow those guidelines with regards to the uniforms. I need EVERYTHING uniform-related turned-in and resolved by this coming weekend.

PHS Band Uniform Turn-In Procedures for Disney

As we are three weeks out from our trip, I want to start the uniform preparation process. All students participating in the Disney trip need to turn-in their uniforms this week. Please download the checklist with instructions here. All instructions are to be followed precisely so that we may avoid any issues once we get to Florida. If you are missing uniform items, have extra uniform items or require uniform alterations/adjustments, please click here and fill out the necessary information online. You will then need to come on Saturday 4/9 to the band room to have your needs addressed. Thank you for your timely cooperation.


It is time for me to start posting updated information for our trip. I will be adding to this post each day this week. First up is most up-to-date itinerary. The next items are the Jet Blue airline lists. Everyone 18 and over is required to have a valid ID and the name on the airline list must match that ID. Please double-check your information in these lists and let me know if there is an issue with name spelling or missing info. Also, please be aware that the seating assignments for each plane were done alphabetically. Changing of seat assignments will not be permitted with a group of our size. You can view these lists to determine what flights you are on and who you are seated near. Remember that we are on two planes, not one.

Time to get the ball rolling for our return to Disney in 2016!

It is time to start the preliminary planning for the Clipper Band trip to Orlando, Florida in the Spring of 2016. Please note that all of these items are subject to change based on availability and affordability. Here are some of the details based on our trip in 2012.
  • Tentatively planned for Sunday 4/24-Sunday 5/1 (April vacation), pending school board approval of 2015-16 school year calendar
  • Round-trip, non-stop air Jet Blue to Orlando out of Boston's Logan International Airport
  • Ground transportation includes round-trip school bus transfers from PHS to Logan and coach bus transportation while in Orlando provided by Mears transportation
  • Accommodations at the Lake Buena Vista Courtyard Marriott, students in quads (4 to a room) and chaperones in doubles (2 to a room)
  • Theme park tickets to Disney World (3-day, park-hopper passes) and Universal Studios/Islands of Adventure (2-day, park-hopper passes)
  • All meals included (breakfast every morning at hotel), scheduled group meals at Planet Hollywood, Rainforest Cafe, Hard Rock Cafe, Ci-Ci's Pizza and a daily meal per-diem for students while in the parks
  • Disney Performance opportunities include a marching band parade down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, Festival Disney concert band competition, "You're Instrumental" recording session workshop, Colorguard "Auxiliration" workshop
  • The projected cost will be in the neighborhood of $1,400 per student (cost in 2012 was $1275). Chaperones may be offered "up to" a 50% reduction in costs.
  • While there will be many fundraising opportunities for band students to participate in, I suggest that everyone start their own personal "Disney savings account" at home. If you started this February 1st, putting $100 a month away, you would have a total of $1400 by April 1, 2016 when the final payment will be due.  A formal payment schedule will be published on September 1. Until then, start saving those pennies!
  • Fundraising will fall into two categories. "Individual fundraising" by students will be credited directly into their trip accounts. "Group fundraising" monies will be collected through February 2016, then divided equally amongst the students and credited directly to their accounts. This results in the reduction or even elimination of final trip payment(s).
  • ALL band students must register their intentions to participate (or not) by completing this brief online form.
  • I will need a minimum of 1 chaperone for every 10 students. I expect at least 120 students with the potential of up to 140 depending on final band sign-ups. If you are interested in chaperoning, please complete this brief online form.
  • Any families interested in traveling along with the band as "groupies" will be able to take advantage of our group-rate pricing for hotel, park tickets & group meals. You would find cheaper air fares on your own and would need to be responsible for all of your transportation while in Orlando. Please complete this online form if you are interested in any of these options.

Judge’s Tapes and Written Notes From Festival Disney 2012

The following are audio files for the band members to listen to and links to the judges notes for the band members to look over for instructional purposes:
Performance audio:
Judge 1: Dr. Steven Benham (Associate Professor of Music Ed, Duquesne University) Notes.
Judge 2: Dr. Ken Dye
(Director of Bands, University of Notre Dame) Notes.
Judge 3: Professor Joseph Hermann (Director of Bands, Tennessee Tech University) Notes.

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