Members of Eden Prairie High School’s (EPHS) orchestra recently performed and recorded movie music during a whirlwind four-day trip to Disney World in Florida.
On Feb. 10, students showcased musical selections from Disney movies, “The Incredibles,” “Frozen,” “Moana,” “Brave,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” at the Disney Springs Bandshell.
They were also able to take part in a recording session with an on-staff Disney composer. This allowed them to experience what it is like to be a freelance musician and performing string player with Disney.
“The trip was amazing,” said Angelique Rowell, EPHS’s orchestra director. “The kids were wonderful to be around and gave a fantastic performance. They were such a great group of kids and their kindness and actions towards each other warmed my heart.”
Rowell said the art of movie music has an increasingly important role in today’s world.
“The movie industry has gained huge momentum in the present culture,” Rowell said. “Major orchestras all over the country, including our own Minnesota Orchestra, have started incorporating movie music into their regularly scheduled performances at concert halls.
“It is my belief that movie music is in a way, the genre of music most prominent in today’s society, often like classical music was to the royal court of the past. When freelancing performing for celebrations or weddings, many or most clients request some sort of movie or pop tune for their occasion.”
Rowell added, “Having students experience this in a setting that employs thousands of musicians across many different performances gives students a taste of what it is like to be a professional musician.”
However, Rowell said that even if her students don’t seek careers in the music industry, they learned a great deal from the experience.
“It is not my hope that all students become professional musicians, but that they all develop a skill that they can use in the future to help feed their soul and possibly share their gift with others,” she said.
Students, who paid their own travel expenses, were also able to explore Disney World, EPCOT, and Hollywood Studios.
‘A Night at the Movies’
Eden Prairie residents were able to experience their own taste of Disney music earlier this school year, when EPHS orchestras held their annual movie night concert on Oct. 28.
“A Night at the Movies” featured the school’s Concert, Concertino, and Symphonic orchestras, which played a selection of movie themes conducted by seniors. Students had a great time dressing up as their favorite movie characters, from Cinderella to Jack Sparrow to Kristoff and Sven from “Frozen.”
Attendees enjoyed popcorn, cookies, and drinks, face painting, and an instrument “petting zoo” designed to introduce visiting children and their families to the different string instruments.
This extremely popular concert is open to the public and is held annually, so check EPLN’s calendar next October for the date and time.
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