Christmas vacation took on a learning twist for the members of the Rockford High School (RHS) bands. Approximately 155 students and chaperones headed out early on December 27 for a fun-filled learning experience at Disney’s Magical Musical Days, including the “You’re Instrumental!” workshop in Orlando, Fla. The workshop gave the students a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the professional music world, and what it takes to be a successful studio musician, culminating with the creation of a soundtrack recording for a Disney animated film clip. Students started their musical journey by meeting with a Disney conductor in a professional recording studio located in the Epcot theme park. They learned what it is like to be a professional performer and the differences in the many areas of the music industry, including performing on stage and in a studio. They then were given a piece of music to sight-read and worked on basic intonation techniques and polishing their piece to a professional level. Once the music was ready, they learned studio-performance techniques. They then did a final “take” on the music, which was paired with a Disney animated film clip by the studio staff. The workshop concluded with a viewing of all their hard work on the DVD, which was presented to Mr. Phillips, RHS band director. “The entire trip was a wonderful success. The students were able to gain both a valuable musical experience, and have a great time in the parks,” said Phillips. In addition to the music workshop, the students were also able to enjoy the various Disney theme parks and concluded their Disney experience with a New Year’s Eve celebration in the Magic Kingdom. The students are currently preparing for their winter concerts on February 14 and 15, which the public is welcome to enjoy. February 14 will feature the concert band and symphonic band of the high school. The 15th will feature the eighth-grade bands from both middle schools and the RHS wind ensemble. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and will be held at the RHS Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets are not required, and it is general admission seating.