by Tim Skeval
On Thursday, April 15, three coach buses full of Jamesville-DeWitt High School Band, Chorus and Orchestra students took off on an excursion to our nation’s capital. The teams competed in the World Strides competition, competing against almost 40 different schools. The chorus faced the most competition, competing against 33 schools. The J-DHS teams looked to repeat what they had done three years before, win.
Each team place second or higher in their respective competitions. The J-DHS band was awarded “gold” or first overall out of 15 teams. “If that wasn’t good enough, we also got a spirit award for the most spirit,” said sophomore band member Jack Underhill. The Orchestra also received a spirit award while placing second in their division out of the 10 teams. Out of 33 teams, the chorus competed in the top tier and placed second. “I had fun even though we didn’t get first,” said senior chorus member Alex Tso.
While the students weren’t performing, they were touring the city and going to theme parks. “I thought Six Flags was definitely the best part of the trip,” said sophomore orchestra member David Tyler, who voiced many other people’s favorite part. Students also toured the historical monuments in Washington D.C. “When my friends and I got free, we toured the city for a long time and then went to the Six Flags, which I regret because the theme park was really fun but we couldn’t stay for long,” said sophomore Cameron Howe. At the park, students could play old fashioned games like the water gun game or go on the roller coasters. “My favorite rides there were the roller coasters, mainly the Superman and Batwing because they went fast,” said freshman Matthew Scibilia. Band teacher Daniel Blumenthal’s favorite non-music part of the trip was the monument tour. “It was the most interesting part and I think a lot of students thought so, too,” said Mr. Blumenthal
Despite all the fun, there were some drawbacks. The trip started a little too early for some students. “The worst part of the trip was getting up at 5 a.m.,” said Underhill. The trip from Syracuse was roughly eight hours including the restroom and food stops. Throughout the eight hours, the students got to know each very well, along with the bus drivers. “Bus three had Glen the bus driver, so it was the best bus,” said freshman Courtney Burns. Not surprisingly, there was a sick person on one of the buses, and when one person is sick, everyone gets sick. “Everyone on bus two got a stomach virus, but thankfully not me,” said sophomore orchestra member Eileen Tan.
If that trip wasn’t enough, 16 students of the J-DHS Orchestra and Band, also known as the J-DHS Jazz Ensemble, took off to Seneca Falls on May 20, for yet another competition. “The best part of the trip was the bus ride,” said freshman Kelvin Huynh. The bus ride in total was about one hour long. “The worst part was that we had to take a regular school bus,” said junior Nathan Basch. The trip turned out to be a success with the band winning gold and the orchestra placing second overall. Senior Ethan Della Posta said that it was a “nice break” from school. Freshman Olivia Budelman and junior Daniel Thompson agreed, saying it was good to leave early and win the competition.