The week of April 2 through April 7 was eventful for the North Tama High School band as they went on their band trip to New York City.
Throughout the trip, the band members and chaperones visited many places along their trip. They first stopped in Cleveland, Ohio to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to perform and tour the museum. The next stop was in New York to play at the U.S.S. Intrepid the next day. Also in New York, they visited many different tourist attractions such as Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Rockefeller Tower, the Sony Technology Center Lab, Grand Central Terminal, Broadway, Chinatown and Little Italy.
During the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performances, the band played many songs that would tie in with the many inducted artists at the museum. Some songs played were "You Shook Me All Night Long" and "Back in Black" by AC/DC, "Thriller" by Michael Jackson, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, and "Dream On" by Aerosmith and other songs that were rock 'n' songs. Sara Young, a sophomore at North Tama, had a blast at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Mrs. Owens directs the band at the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum -- playing patriotic songs.
"Playing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was really cool because we played the songs of some people that were inducted there. Playing there will always be a good memory," says Young.
From playing rock 'n' roll songs, the band traveled from Ohio to New York to play on The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The museum is the USS Intrepid aircraft carrier from the World War II and Vietnam War. At the museum, the band members could tour a Cold War-era submarine, the first space shuttle, the aircraft carrier, and some of the world's fastest jets. Before touring the museum, the band played on the aircraft carrier, the 4th level of the ship. The band played six different patriotic songs such as "Amazing Grace", "Sousa!", and "Hymn to the Fallen". Playing and simply being at the USS Intrepid gave a special meaning to Junior Landon Calderwood.
"Playing on the Intrepid was very special to me," said Calderwood. "My great grandfather had been on a ship just like the Intrepid during the war and I felt honored to be able to play in such a place and honor our troops."
Sharon Owens was the substitute band director for Channing Halstead who is on maternity leave. Owens has had experience in the band directing field before. She had intended to go on to college to be a band director, but after two years she decided to change her major to Elementary Education and General Music. Owens was nervous at first but got comfortable to take the role of being the band director for Halstead.
"I was very nervous about conducting the bands at first. Mrs. Halstead gave me the confidence to take this position," says Owens. "I am more comfortable and I am really enjoying this position. I am so glad I accepted the challenge!"
Being able to go to New York was not just a piece of cake. Starting four years ago, the musicians had to fundraise to cover the cost of the trip. The band members did many different fundraising activities. Each year they sold fruit, meat, and cheese. Starting last year, the band started to sell cookie dough and other miscellaneous item. During the Fine Arts Festival and Traer Winding Stairs Festival, students volunteered to make sno cones for the public.
"In the end, all the hard work was worth it," said Samantha Zobel, a senior band member at North Tama. "We got to do so many cool things, like tour the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which was my favorite part!"
With about 40 musicians, 10 chaperones, and about 20 hours of driving, the New York trip was definitely worth all the hard work they put in and the students would want to go back again.