For a performer, there’s nothing like getting to practice your craft at Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort. That experience was even more special this week for the Decatur Central High School Choir from Indianapolis. Cast members from the national touring production of “The Lion King” made a surprise appearance for the school group, which was participating in a Disney Performing Arts workshop. This magic moment gave the students a chance to learn real-life career insights from veterans of Broadway and national tours.
The Indianapolis choir participated in the two-hour Disney’s Show Choir Magic workshop, which lets students experience what it’s like to rehearse for a Disney production. The program explores vocal and movement techniques for stage performance and teaches students choreography to accompany a vocal score that they prepared in advance.
Our Youth Programs team created a magic moment for the Indianapolis choir where they were able to perform their number in front of a Disney creative team. And, you guessed it, that team was made up of the four Lion King cast members – Nick Cordileone, who plays Timon, and ensemble dancers Electra Weston, Paul Sadler and Amyia Burrell. Amyia, by the way, began her professional journey as a Walt Disney World Entertainment cast member!
Check out the video of this exciting magical moment:
What do television star Jennifer Morrison, “School of Rock’s” Caitlin Hale and renowned musicians Jessy J, Mike Scheuchzer of MercyMe and Jerry DePizzo of O.A.R. have in common?
The answer is easy. They all are part of the Disney Performing Arts family, having performed at a Disney park with a music, dance or theatre ensemble!
Today we’re launching a search for Disney Performing Arts Alumni who want to share how the experience affected their goals and helped them find success in the performing arts or other careers.
Disney Performing Arts played an important role in my career. I performed with The Central Davidson High School Band at Walt Disney World Resort back in 1979. I still have the newspaper story about our band’s trip and remember how that performance cemented my passion for music and education. I never dreamed back then that I would one day lead the team responsible for the Disney Performing Arts program. It’s proof that you never know how life-changing a single Disney experience can be!
Mine is one of countless stories from participants since the first student group performed at Disneyland park on opening day in 1955.
Since then, millions of student performers have marched, danced and made music in Disney parks around the world. They’ve come from every state in America and from six continents. If you or someone you know has a great story about how performing at a Disney park helped further a career or realize a dream, tell us about it at disneyyouth.com or visit us on Facebook.
We recently wrapped up another successful Disney Homeschool Days at the Walt Disney World Resort and this year’s spring event coincided with Florida Literacy Week. To commemorate this important topic, Ridley Pearson, author of the Kingdom Keepers and Peter and the Starcatchers book series, joined the Disney Youth Programs team to give a special presentation to participants.
Nearly 800 students from around the country gathered at the Premiere Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to hear Ridley speak about his inspirations, writing process and literary career. Afterward, students participated in a Q&A with the author to dig deeper into his experiences as a writer. Participants were also able to take part in Kingdom Keepers Quest, our new self-guided quest through the Magic Kingdom Park that follows clues from the book series.
Twice each year, Disney Homeschool Days invites homeschoolers, virtual students and community groups to participate in career-building workshops and experiences, as well as take part in special Disney Youth Education Series programs. Disney Homeschool Days are just one of the many opportunities for learning and fun that you’ll find at our Disney theme parks. Students can also take advantage of special Disney Youth Education Series programs designed for small group and individual enrollment during select dates each year.
Stay tuned for details on our next event coming up this fall, and visit www.disneyyouth.com for more information on all of the Disney Youth Programs offerings.
Recently, Disney Youth Programs hosted a press event for student journalists from throughout the state of Florida. More than 170 middle and high school newspaper columnists, yearbook editors, closed-circuit broadcast producers and aspiring news men and women of all disciplines got a sneak peek at new and upcoming Disney Youth and Disney Parks product.
From the moment these young members of the Florida Scholastic Press Association arrived at the Walt Disney World Resort and were given their media credentials, they were shown what a press event looks and feels like. Students enjoyed exciting entertainment, engaged with speakers from such prominent news outlets as the Orlando Sentinel, learned about new park updates and relevant journalism content from Walt Disney Imagineers and posed hard-hitting questions to Disney leaders in the areas of journalism, media relations, sports, social media and photography. These aspiring reporters also learned about the importance of thinking to “pause before you post” from one of our corporate partners, Jostens.
This event stressed a continued emphasis on the importance of journalist integrity, while showcasing new technologies that allow news to reach its audience at ever increasing speeds. Nurturing an interest in a career in journalism helps build a strong foundation for the reporters of the future.
Here is a look at the event:
To stay up-to-date with other Disney Youth Programs happenings, please visit our Facebook page.
Every two years, Disney Youth Programs hosts a music festival at the Walt Disney World Resort that challenges performers to reach new musical heights. This festival, known as The Disney Honors, is a non-competitive experience for middle and high school choirs, concert bands and orchestras ensembles that focuses solely on education and artistic growth. I am excited to announce that The Disney Honors will be held on February 28 – March 3, 2013. It will be held again at the Walt Disney World Resort. We had a magical time this year watching the talented ensembles take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and can’t wait to see what kind of excitement the next festival holds. Here is a look at the event:
To stay up-to-date with The Disney Honors and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.
If you have ever participated in The Disney Honors, please tell us your story in the comments below.
Each year Disney Youth Programs has the privilege of hosting the Disney Jazz Celebration, a festival for middle and high school instrumental and vocal ensembles focusing on jazz education, artist interaction and featuring spectacular evening performances. For the past three years, this magical showcase of talent has been held at the Walt Disney World Resort. I am excited to announce that next year the event will be held at the Disneyland Resort from Feb. 24-26, 2012. We are enthusiastic about the change in location and can’t wait to see what excitement next year’s festival holds. Here is a look at this amazing event:
To stay up-to-date with Disney Jazz Celebration and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.
If you have ever participated in Disney Jazz Celebration, please tell us your story in the comments below.
Here’s a look at more upcoming Disney Youth Program events at Disney Parks:
I am excited to announce the addition of a new Disney Youth Programs self-guided learning opportunity for youth groups of 10 or more – the Kingdom Keepers Quest! The program, which was developed around the Kingdom Keepers book series and was written by author Ridley Pearson himself, involves problem solving, visualization, observation, creativity, math skills, language arts and critical thinking. Students will have the opportunity to work together to solve puzzles throughout Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort — just as the Keepers do in the first book, Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark. Do you have what it takes to be a Keeper?
Here is a look at the program:
To stay up-to-date with Kingdom Keepers Quest and other Disney Youth Programs opportunities, please visit our Facebook page.
Have you read any of the Kingdom Keepers series? Let us know in the comments below!
I am pleased to announce that Disney Youth Programs has the privilege of hosting Disney’s Gospel Choir Fest for the second year on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort. Participating choirs receive valuable feedback from EMI Gospel record-label representatives and the winning ensemble will have the opportunity to take center stage and perform during Saturday evening’s Night of Joy at the Magic Kingdom Park. Night of Joy is a contemporary Christian music festival featuring live performances by today’s top bands in contemporary Christian rock, pop and gospel. The video below highlights the University of Oregon’s Gospel Singers, last year’s winners of the event. Here’s what they had to say about this special festival.
To stay up-to-date with Disney’s Gospel Choir Fest and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.
If you have participated in Disney’s Gospel Choir Fest, please tell us your story in the comments below.
Festival Disney is truly a music festival with character. Next year will mark the 8th year of Festival Disney, Disney Youth Programs’ annual competitive music festival held at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. We had a wonderful time this year watching all the extremely talented instrumental, vocal and auxiliary ensembles take part in this magical competition.
Today I am excited to announce that next year’s Festival Disney competition will take place on select weekends from March 9 – May 5, 2012, as well as June 1 – 2, 2012, at the Walt Disney World Resort. We are truly excited to see what next year has in store for us. Here is a look at the event:
To stay up-to-date with Festival Disney and other Disney Youth Programs music festivals, please visit our Facebook page.
If you have ever participated in Festival Disney, please tell us your story in the comments below.
A high-energy and highly memorable experience awaits your step team at the 2012 Disney STEP Classic, hosted by Disney Youth Programs! I am excited to announce that next year’s competition dates are February 18-19, 2012. I am also thrilled to announce that we have decided to add a new age group to the competition: 14 & Under. There will still be the traditional 18 & Up and 19 & Under age groups.
Participating teams will have the magical opportunity to perform on stage in the Premier Theater at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as well as attend Master STEP Workshops provided by the National Step Show Alliance (N.S.S.A.). These workshops will help improve technical proficiency and teach the fundamentals of stepping. Participants will also, of course, have the chance to enjoy the magic of all four Walt Disney World Resort parks! Here is a look at the event:
To stay up-to-date with Disney STEP Classic, please visit our Facebook page.
If you have ever participated in Disney STEP Classic, please tell us your story in the comments below.