El Segundo Middle School Band and Choir Visit Las Vegas
Edu-Tour includes Music in the Parks May 4 & 5
El Segundo, CA – May 18, 2012 – Band leader Tony Bancroft and Choir Director Gianna Summers packed up the kids and hit the road early in May to try and beat the heat of springtime in Las Vegas. But this definitely wasn’t a family outing – although the ESMS band and choir could be considered a family of sorts – this was an educational tour including hands-on workshops with university level professionals as well as a little fun thrown in for good measure.
Upon arriving bright and early on Friday, the group proceeded to the University of Las Vegas for a private Master Class conducted by a member of the University Music Department. As the young musicians hung on every word and demonstration, they couldn’t help but be awed at their surroundings and the richness of the curriculum, as well as the possibilities of future careers in the music world. Jessica Park was in heaven. “Going to UNLV and working with an awesome conductor who plays my instrument, clarinet, was amazing. He was so nice and gave us new techniques to use as a whole band – that would only take about five minutes!”
Each group had an intensive with a professional – the band clinic was conducted by Clinton Williams, while the choral clinic featured the expertise of David Weiller. After an intense day under the tutelage of these professionals, an evening with the Cirque de Soleil put everyone over the moon and tired them out to be ready for a full day Saturday – which included performances in competition by both the band and choir.
Arriving at the Music in the Parks competition, the band knocked the crowd dead with their performance, while the choral group did the same and took home 1st prize for their troubles. Sophia Arguelles summed it up. “I had a blast on stage while I was dancing and singing my heart out! But to me it wasn’t about getting first place, or being last. I just wanted to have fun and do what I do best.”
After performances students had time to visit the Luxor Hotel for the BODIES exhibit, which allowed students to get a peek under their own skins while gaining an appreciation for their instruments and understanding the importance of good health and healthy lifestyles to maintain them. Then it was on to the Adventuredome Theme Park, a 5-acre domed indoor park for an afternoon of fun and relaxation, before venturing to the 5 p.m. Music in the Parks awards ceremony.
By the time the exhausted ESMS students boarded the bus for the return trip home, everybody had an indelible memory of their weekend in Las Vegas. Oftentimes more than meets the eye is going on during a memorable outing such as this, as evidenced by Madison Davis, who is a new student to El Segundo Middle School. “I loved going to Las Vegas with the choir, and since I’m new to ESMS, it gave me a chance to meet new people and to help my new friendships grow.”