The Brighton High School Band is on its way to Disney World today for Festival Disney, in which it will be competing with high school bands from all over the country. The last time the BHS bands competed in Festival Disney was in 2016, when Brighton won both a Gold Medal and “Best in Class” while competing in “quadruple-A” (the category for the largest high schools). The BHS bus was to leave at about 6 a.m. for the short trip to Detroit Metro Airport and a quick flight to Orlando.

According to Band Director Gabrielle Hoffman, some 65 student musicians from the Brighton area are making the trip. Hoffman says more would be going except that this is the time of year for SAT tests and some had to stay home. Brighton will be competing in both the Wind Symphony and Wind Ensemble categories, but not in marching band, since the competition is a Concert Band Festival and as a result is confined to indoor musical groups.

A panel of expert judges from several universities will be judging the groups, with the top-rated groups receiving a gold medal for “Superior”, the next-best group getting a bronze medal for “Excellent” and the third-best a silver medal for “good”. Hoffman says she allows the band members to take one band trip per year, with last year’s trip being the Detroit Thanksgiving Day parade, while the 2017 event was the Outback Bowl.

Hoffman says this is Brighton’s 5th trip to Disney World for Festival Disney, where the school has an outstanding reputation for the quality of its musical groups. While at Disney World, the BHS group will have some time for fun and relaxation, and will be going to Epcot Center and the Magic Kingdom. Some 11 chaperones are accompanying the student musicians. Next year, the Brighton High School bands will be going to Hawaii for the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. Brighton is the only high school band from the state of Michigan that has been invited to the Hawaii memorial event. (TT) Photo: Courtesy of the Brighton Band Boosters