Musicians’ trip finally coming to fruition

High school band is going to Florida after two years of pandemic delays
By 
MITCH MAERSCH
Ozaukee Press staff

Ethan Beardsley wants to get his picture taken with the Disney princesses. All of them.

Jenna Plier wants to eat sourdough bread shaped like Mickey Mouse.

McKenna Bretz is looking forward to trying butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

“Family friendly butterbeer,” Lara Schmitz said.

Their tastes may differ, but 105 members of the Cedar Grove-Belgium High School band agree that it is high time for a trip to Florida during spring break.

If the journey was a student, it would have been disciplined for tardiness twice.

The pandemic put a pause on the trip in 2020 and last year, making this year’s excursion all the sweeter.

The students at first tried to keep their emotions in check.

“I was really nervous,” Plier said.

“You don’t want to get your hopes up,” Bretz said.

Two years ago, the trip was canceled “literally a week before we were supposed to go,” Bretz said. That’s when the effects of the pandemic began to hit.

Last week, band members let their enthusiasm out of the bag and couldn’t stop talking about their plans.

“I’ve been super excited now,” Bretz said.

Kaylee Cherney is getting Disney books for the princesses to sign, but another highlight is more of a simple pleasure.

“We get to order pizza in our hotel room,” she said.

“Yes, we can!” Bretz said.

Plier wants to get orange slices in the shape of Mickey ears while she matches the color of the treat wearing an orange shirt.

A couple of things on the trip have changed due to the pandemic. Bagged lunches replace a barbecue meal on Cocoa Beach, Allie Wolff said, and the band had to choose between doing workshops and performing since so many groups have been waiting to come to Disney.

Band members will don their wool uniforms and march in a 20-minute long parade at 9 a.m. around the castle in the Magic Kingdom.

“I’m first chair in Florida,” flute player Tara Schmitz said. “I’m last chair flute but all 12 are doing something else, so I’m first chair.”

Besides the parade, the rest of the time is theirs to partake in everything the parks have to offer. Besides the Magic Kingdom, the list includes EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios and Disney Springs, a shopping and dining area.

Bretz has been mapping out her plans to hit all the rides.

“I’m going to make the most of my experience,” she said.

Many of the students have been to Disney before.

“I cried when I met Tinker Bell,” Wolff said.

Band director Alanna Ford shares in her students anticipation.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to go on this trip. The kids are really excited it’s actually happening this year. After getting canceled and rescheduled twice, this is the year,” she said.

Students appreciate the work their director put in to make the trip happen.

“She has put up with too much,” Plier said.

“She has definitely worked really hard to get us here,” Cherney said.

The band leaves Friday, March, 25, and returns Friday, April 1.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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