North Hills Takes on Cedar Point


Rebekah Froehlich, Website Editor

Over this past weekend many students at North Hills had the privilege of attending the 2017 Music in the Parks festival at Cedar Point. Students from all four concert bands, marching band, orchestra, and choir all traveled to Sandusky, Ohio to show off their talents to experienced adjudicators and receive a score as well as helpful feedback. Other than the purpose of competing, the trip was also very enjoyable and allowed everyone to grow together as a group and have a fun time.

After school on Friday, everyone packed up the busses and sat themselves down in comfortable, but sometimes itchy, bus seats. Adrenaline and excitement was free flowing through everyone in the buzz of an upcoming weekend of de-stressing from the struggles of finals week. Spirits were high by the time the busses arrived at Kalahari. Chaperones could barely contain students from running into the water park. Kalahari was like a wonderland of water, heat, and fun. Everyone jumped and ran and flooded the lines at the park until there were times entire slides were filled with North Hills kids. It was an amazing beginning to the trip. The warm water welcomed the stress of the end of the year and everyone’s nerves flowed straight out of them. Eventually, students had to return to the bus cold and slightly damp, but no one’s spirits were falling.

Back at the hotel everyone caught a few hours of much needed sleep from the exhausting time at Kalahari. In the morning, students rushed around getting together hats, ties, and gloves to be ready for the performances of the day. Everyone packed onto the busses and headed to the school for competition. The day began with a lively performance from Jazz Band followed by Marching Band then String Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra then Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Choir, Women’s Choir, and North Hills singers. Everyone was tired and proud by the time we went to Cedar Point.

The feeling as we pulled into the lot and saw the rollercoaster tops through the fog was one of pure excitement. Money for food was distributed and the busses were unloaded. Everyone practically ran into the park and got a spot in a never ending line for a world famous roller coaster. The weather was cold and windy but the excitement never faltered. Then came the rain. Copious amounts of rain poured down from the sky and discouragement came from the group. A call heard amongst the crowd was, “I want to go home.” By 6 o’clock, the time of the adjudication ceremony, the rain was slowing and the sun was coming out, but everyone was damp and many were unhappy. However, upon hearing the results of the competitions, spirits rose again. North Hills walked away with a plethora of awards. The final results were: Chamber Orchestra – Superior, 1st place, Best Overall Orchestra; String Orchestra – Superior, 1st place; Wind Ensemble – Superior, 1st place, Best Overall Band; Wind Symphony – Superior, 1st place; Symphonic Band – Superior, 2nd place; Concert Band – Excellent, 3rd place; Jazz Band – Superior, 1st place, Best Overall Jazz Band; Marching Band – Superior, 1st place; Symphonic Choir – Excellent, 1st place; Women’s Choir – Superior, 1st place; North Hills Singer’s – Superior, 2nd place. Also, Drum Major of the Marching Band and amazing musician, Dillon Clark, received the award of outstanding jazz soloist. After the ceremony it was offered for some to return to the hotel, which the weaker of the group did, but those with a love for roller coasters and a tolerance for cold decided to stay. Those who stayed were welcomed by a beautiful, clear night. Cedar Point in the dark is a beauty to be beheld as the lights music becomes softer and the lights from the ferris wheel can be seen for miles around. Around 10pm everyone returned to the hotel after a long but exciting day.

Sunday was one that took the theme of the rest of the weekend: uncertainty and excitement. It began a bit later than Saturday, 7am instead of 6, but a forecast of storms caused everyone to stay in the hotel for a few hours. The plans began with simply waiting out the rain, but it looked like it would not pass so easily. The choirs headed out toward the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, but the bands and orchestras took up and returned to Kalahari for a second day of fun and slides. Students were able to continue to explore the water park along with its arcade, bowling alley, and laser tag arena. It was a surprise change of plans but brought little discontent.

After Kalahari, the bands headed toward the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The forty five minute bus ride was enjoyable as everyone was buzzing with excitement to see the famous place we were going to. Quickly everyone got off their bus and into the Hall. For about two hours everyone looked around and soaked up the history of rock and roll. The tour guides explained that it was best to start on the bottom floor with the 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees and work your way up to the top floor with the Rolling Stone 50 years room. The Hall boasted memorabilia from classics such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and David Bowie, as well as newer musicians such as Taylor Swift and Fallout Boy. There was something there for everyone to enjoy.

One of the most memorable parts of the Hall of Fame was the large sign out front that says, “Long Live Rock.” The group headed out there and posed for a picture that happens at some point during every trip. Mr. Lavelle gave his announcements and sung our praises for how well the trip went. Then everyone boarded the busses with tired eyes and happy hearts. The ride back to North Hills was pleasant but more quiet as everyone was a little sad to be going home. Once back the equipment and luggage was unloaded, everyone said their goodbyes and went home for some sleep after an amazing weekend. The trip was another success under the belt of the North Hills Music Program.