40th Anniversary of the All-American College Band

Betsy Villalobos

by , Senior Manager, External Communications, Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products

For the last 40 years, college students from around the country have flocked to the Disneyland Resort each summer in search of a hands-on music education experience. That experience comes in the form of the All-American College Band – an 11-week paid internship that prepares students for careers in music. On July 17, as the Resort celebrated 55 years, the band held a 40th anniversary reunion. More than 140 current and former band members marched down Main Street, U.S.A. performing “Gonna Take You There” from the Disney film “The Princess and the Frog.” Many band alumni have gone on to highly successful music careers including Sal Lozano, who has played music for hit TV shows such “Dancing with the Stars” and “American Idol,” and Gordon Goodwin who arranged the score to the Disney Pixar film “The Incredibles.”

The current program is directed by former band member Dr. Ron McCurdy, who teaches jazz at USC’s Thornton School of Music. Of more than 250 applicants, only about 20 were selected to participate in the 2010 internship. The students learn everything from using technology to compose music to crafting resumes. A highlight of the program is the opportunity to visit Capitol Records to record music they have performed during the summer. The All-American College Band is a fan favorite – it brings great energy to Disneyland park through their performances and get guests of all ages grooving to the beat.

You can see the band play at Disneyland park Tuesday-Saturday through August 13. The schedule is below:

Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday
2:30 p.m. – Plaza Gardens
4:20 p.m. – Sleeping Beauty Castle
5:10 p.m. – Town Square
6:00 p.m. – Main Street
7:15 p.m. – Town Square

4:15 p.m. – Sleeping Beauty Castle
5:10 p.m. – Town Square
7:00 p.m. – Plaza Gardens
8:00 p.m. – Plaza Gardens
9:00 p.m. – Plaza Gardens

Check out the video below to hear more about how the band provides a foundation for young college students launching into the music business.


  • As a former marching band member and currently play gigs – this energy the kids display at Disneyland is GREAT! I’m encouraging my daughter to apply when she’s ready. She getting her trumpet chops ready.

  • Does Disney have one All-American College Orchestra? Otherwise a whole lot of string instruments (violin, viola, cello, etc) are left out in the cold….

  • How can I get a copy of the recordings done at Capitol? So cool!

  • Bravo to Disneyland USA for keeping this summer tradition alive and well!

  • My dad played this event! So cool!! 🙂

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