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Southmoreland Band marches at Disney World

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 9:02 p.m.
Southmoreland Marching Band members pictured from left: Johnny Hough, 17, Mallory Garsteck,18, Jordan McCargo, 18, Brandon Collins, 17, Stephanie Wells, 16, Ian Zimmerman, 14, and Cera Graft, 16, enjoy some free time in front of the Magic Kingdom castle in Disney World.

The Southmoreland Marching Band embarked on a five-day trip to Disney World recently to participate in a parade through the Magic Kingdom.

“Marching in the parade down Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom was an indescribable experience,” said junior Stephanie Wells. “Going to Walt Disney World with our marching band was a lot of fun and I made so many memories that I'll have the rest of my life.”

The band performed “Scotland the Brave/Highland Fling” and “Hey Baby” as they marched down Main Street USA Feb. 28. Fifty-eight students and 12 chaperones stayed at the Disney All-Star Sports Resort.

Students flew to the event, but their baggage, uniforms and instruments were trucked to the resort to save time and money at the airport.

Band director Shawn Harris said the excitement from the students while they were warming up and preparing to step off was so much fun to watch. There was a lot of excitement as they began preparation for the trip in May, but it did not compare to sheer joy of seeing them having fun together said Harris.

“It was one of the highlights of the trip just seeing them have a great time throughout the trip.” Harris said

In addition to performing, the students had the opportunity to visit Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. Harris said they even had some time to forget about the winter while sitting pool side.

Junior Johnny Hough said there was so much to do and the shows were amazing. He added the worst part was coming home to 18-degree weather.

Epcot, especially the Anime store in Japan, was the highlight of junior Cera Graft's experience in Disney.

Harris said the students behaved and represented the school very well during the trip.

Southmoreland Elementary School principal John Lee has chaperoned many of the band's trips.

“It gives the students an opportunity to not only have fun, but also enjoy an educational experience,” said Lee.

Harris said that without the support of the district's administration and school board, the trip would not have been possible.

Kelly Vernon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-5437-5722 or