Back with the Band

Band on the Run

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining Jaylin on his trip with the Harding Academy Senior Wind Ensemble. We visited Universal Orlando and Give Kids the World Village. More about those locations later on, but here are a few photos from the trip.

Merry Christmas!

Harding Academy Band at Give Kids the World Village

The first performance was at Give Kids the World Village, which is a resort in Central Florida for families with children who have very serious illnesses. One of their weekly activities is that they have Christmas every Thursday. As part of those festivities, the Harding Band played a selection of Christmas songs while the children visited with Santa Claus. How cool is that?

Harding Band at Give Kids the World Village

Christmas in April in Florida? You might as well dress the part. Some still wore sweaters and Santa caps. But others like Jaylin chose to wear green or red shirts with shorts. I don’t think anyone paid that much attention to what the band was wearing, anyway.

Harding Band and Santa Claus at Give Kids the World Village

After all, Santa Claus was in the house. He got much more attention than the band students got. But Santa was nice enough to give the band students some attention as well, saying they were one of the best groups they had ever had there. So he wanted to be sure to get a photo with them, too. Except that there wasn’t room for all of them to fit on his chair. It was a fun performance at a great place. Watch for more about that later on.

Playing for the Judges

Harding Band at Music in the Parks

The other performance was part of the Music in the Parks festival, where the band played for judges who gave them a score. This festival was not actually held in the parks, however. Our band played at St. Cloud High School. It was a much different program from the Christmas performance, as you can tell by their formal attire.

Jaylin at Music in the Parks

Here is the traditional “Hurry up and take my picture because you are embarrassing me” photo since Jaylin was all dressed up. And if you look closely, you can see me taking this photo in the reflection in the window behind Jaylin.

Harding Band at Music in the Parks

The band performed exceptionally well, in my opinion. The judges apparently had the same opinion, because the band received a Superior rating, which is the best there is. They also got a trophy for Best Overall Group. Way to go!

The rest of the trip was spent seeing fun stuff and all. For me, the trip brought back memories of the great years that I spent in the Harding Academy Band. Except of course that this time I was there as a parent and not as a student. Life does seem to be a great big circle sometimes, doesn’t it?

Also for me, the best part of the trip was getting to know some of the people that Jaylin spends time with, as well as some of the other parents who were on the trip. One of the good things in life is making connections and strengthening other connections, and a lot of that happened on this trip. It was a great group of kids and adults to hang out with for a few days. Whether we were trying to get somewhere on the bus, waiting in line for a ride, eating yet another hamburger, or performing (or watching them perform for us adults), everyone seemed to have a good time being together.

Watch for photos and stories of some of the places we visited coming up in the near future!

Bible Verse

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10