The Roxbury Music Department Takes on Virginia!

Photo courtesy of

On Thursday, April 28, the band, choir, and orchestra departed for Richmond, Virginia. Prior to the trip, members from all different bands came together to rehearse two different songs to perform in Virginia. Megaband performed La Madre de Los Gatos and A Walk in the Morning Sun.

After checking in at the hotels, we were all tired from the bus ride. We had some downtime, then rehearsed in the Choir Hotel’s lobby. Friday was performance day, and our schedule was packed. We woke up at 6:30 and had breakfast in the lobby at 7:30. After arriving at the Liberty Baptist Church, we watched all of the choirs’ performances, as well as their clinics, which took about three hours. All of the choirs worked so hard and had excellent performances.

One of the highlights of the day was eating dinner at Captain George’s Seafood Buffet. The restaurant was very fancy, and the staff was extremely friendly. After dinner we headed to Crittenden Middle School, where the bands and orchestra would perform. All of the performances were exceptional. Honors Wind Symphony did so well in their performance that the clinician didn’t even have anything to fix for them; they only had positive feedback.

After a long day, and many great performances, we got on the bus and headed back to the hotels. We all had to get a good night’s sleep to prepare for the next day.

On Saturday morning, we began the trip to Busch Gardens. When we arrived in the park, we received tickets and meal vouchers. Once inside, we were allowed to go off on our own to do what we wanted. Throughout the day, we ate overpriced food and went on many rides. The roller coasters I went on were Griffon, Apollo’s Chariot, Alpengeist, Pantheon, Tempesto, and InvadR, with Pantheon being my personal favorite.  It features four launches, five airtime hills, and a 95-degree beyond vertical drop. The scary thing about it is that you only get a seat belt over your lap, so you constantly feel like you’re going to fall out.

Another great ride was Griffon. It is 205 feet tall and reaches a maximum speed of 71 mph. At the very top, it hangs you there for a second and then drops you down 92 degrees. I rode it twice, once in the front row and once in the second.

I asked Kate McDougal, a freshman flute player, what her favorite roller coaster was. “My favorite ride was definitely Pantheon. The fast start and the vertical backward drop were so fun. I would definitely ride it again!” At the end of the day, there were about fifteen Roxbury band, choir, and orchestra members on line for Pantheon. While on line, we thought we wouldn’t make it to the awards, which were at 8:30, on time. We got off at 7:50 and checked our phones to find a notification that said the awards time had been changed to 8:00. At that point, we were on the opposite side of the park from the theater where awards were being held. We collectively sprinted across the park, and fortunately, made it in time. Roxbury won many awards, as well as individual awards that members of the band and choir won. Those individuals, as well as Honors Wind Symphony, were invited to Carnegie Hall.

After a very exciting day, we left for the hotel. The bus ride was mostly quiet because everyone was worn out from the long day. Back at the hotel, my roommates and I stayed up late. We ate snacks, watched videos, and talked. It was definitely another highlight of the trip for me. On the way back home on Sunday, the plan was to stop at the Baltimore Inner Harbor in Maryland. The next morning at breakfast, we were informed that we would not be stopping because there was rain in the forecast. The rain never came, but we still didn’t stop. Instead, we stopped for lunch at a rest stop in Maryland.

When we got home, we unloaded the buses and everyone went home. We were all extremely worn out after the eventful weekend. Overall, the trip was amazing and a great experience for all the members of the music program.