WCHS band heads to Orlando to experience movie music


Photo by Brianna Frank

On January 15th, the last evening before WCHS students were to head home from Orlando, Fla., WCHS teachers spent time relaxing at the hotel arcade. Mr. Benjamin Schnapp, Mr. Kristofer Sanz and Mr. Ariel Allal played numerous arcade games and spent time having fun with their students.

By Brianna Frank, Advertising and Subscriptions Manager

A 16-hour-long crowded bus ride to Orlando, Florida on the morning of Jan. 12 was only the beginning of a fun-filled trip for the WCHS music program. For the first time in four years, WCHS’s music program participated in the Foley and the Art of Sound Design workshop. 

Students from both band and orchestra participated in this workshop for half a day, working as movie musicians performing “The Lorax,” a Dr. Seuss children’s film about human-environment interaction through characters. The music performed by these students was later played on top of animated movie scenes from “The Lorax.” 

“The workshop allowed me to get a glimpse into the work of sound production for movies,” WCHS sophomore Michelle Pan said. “It gave me an opportunity to experience and explore an incredible field of work that we don’t often hear about.” 

In addition to playing music from “The Lorax,” a select few students were chosen to participate in voice acting, playing the parts of different characters. They could also create and choose Foley effects, which are everyday sound effects, such as a door creaking, that are added to films. Foley effects are a small but critical part of filmmaking that the students were able to experience firsthand and learn more about. 

“Most of my musical experience has involved live performance, so it was really fun to see what recording is like and how it works in a cinematic setting,” WCHS junior Abby Nega said.  “Being recorded is the most nerve-wracking thing about being a musician and it’s nice to get some extra practice.” 

Even after the workshop ended, their exciting trip was not over. As students were already in Orlando, there was one world-famous park known for its immersive movie and television-themed attractions that they had to visit: Universal Studios. The music program spent two and a half days freely exploring Universal Studios, with tons of attractions to choose from.

“Aside from our recording workshop, we had the opportunity to explore Universal Studios, Harry Potter World and Citywalk, which was a lot of fun,” Nega said. 

There were also countless delicious and fun-filled meals the music program went to. From the breakfast buffet at Margaritaville and live music at Cuba Libre, to dinner with a show at Medieval Times the next evening, there was never a dull moment. 

“I loved the jousting show and authentic Medieval Times dinner experience we had on the second night,” Pan said. “I found it really funny that we had to eat dinner without utensils, [and] cheering for the yellow knight was definitely the highlight of my night.” 

Unfortunately, the trip eventually came to an end and students departed for a 16-hour bus ride yet again. After five days in Orlando, everyone arrived back at WCHS at 1 a.m. on Jan. 17. 

“Everyone in the instrumental music department works really hard to make our performances happen, so we don’t have a lot of downtime,” Nega said. “It was really nice to explore the parks and [have fun]. We’re also very lucky to have directors who are willing to go the extra mile to make sure we have memorable experiences.”