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Published: Thursday, 2/17/2005

Springfield: Marching band headed to Disney World

Springfi eld High School band took its practice inside in preparation for appearance at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Springfi eld High School band took its practice inside in preparation for appearance at Walt Disney World in Florida.

It was months ago that the Springfield Local Schools' marching band made its way down Holland's Madison Street with pretty close to no one watching.

The single-unit parade, however, was recorded on video tape and is a big reason why the group is scheduled to arrive today in Orlando, Fla., where they will take part in a Walt Disney World parade this weekend.

Three buses are leaving from the school district's high school to take 82 members of the marching band and about 20 others for the weekend in warmer weather.

Band Director Kathy McGrady said the trip will be a highlight for the year for the youngsters who practice regularly and perform not only at school events, but also for the community.

"These are real good kids who work hard,'' Ms. McGrady said.

The video tape was a key part of the competition for bands from around the country to be invited to the Disney event.

Ms. McGrady said she aims for one major trip every other year, with a shorter trip in the odd years.

The band last year played at the Indianapolis 500 auto race.

Today the buses are scheduled to stop at a water park where the youngsters will have a chance to work off the cramped feeling of the straight-through bus ride.

Friday will be spent at Disney's Magic Kingdom with a performance along Main Street USA, the entrance street to the attraction.

Ms. McGrady said there will be many bands at the site this weekend, but only a few will be in the Magic Kingdom.

"That's were you want to be," if you're a member of a marching band, she said.

Another highlight of the weekend will be a three-hour session music workshop Sunday.As part of the workshop, the group is given music to read and after discussing it, the band will perform the piece.

They then will be shown an animated film with their performance supplying the music.

Band members, family and others have put on numerous fund-raisers to be able to afford the cost of the trip, which totals about $60,000.The group is scheduled to return Monday at about 8 p.m.

Contact Mike Jones

at mjones@theblade.com

or 419-724-6096.

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