MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Morgantown High School marching band returned home this week after a parade they won’t soon forget at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

More than 200 band and choir students left the school on April 11 and spent a total of six days in Florida. After auditioning, the band’s director Lorne Hyskell said they found out they were accepted to play in June of 2022. Since then, band students said the parade had been at the forefront of their minds and had been practicing hard to make it one of their best performances ever.

Morgantown High School Choir performs at the Festival Disney competition in April 2023 (Courtesy Lorne Hyskell)
Morgantown High School Choir performs at the Festival Disney competition in April 2023 (Courtesy Lorne Hyskell)

The marching band performed in the Magic Kingdom Parade on April 14, and the MHS choir sang in the Festival Disney program, a performance competition between schools from across the country. Out of the 15 schools that competed alongside MHS, Morgantown choir student Grace Forman received the “Best Soloist” award for her performance of “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” by Dolly Parton. The choir as a whole earned 5th place overall and received a “Superior Rating” from the competition’s judges.

During the trip, each student took away something different from the experience. Aside from winning her award, Forman said she was able to reconnect with an old friend.

“It was absolutely amazing. That was probably my favorite part,” Forman said. “And hugging Mickey, that was pretty good too.”

Head Majorette Kayla Bordogna and Drum Major Bryce Blonairz both said that a standout for the trip for them was the bonding and comradery between band members throughout the trip and being able to spend time with people they didn’t normally hand out with regularly.

  • The Morgantown High School Marching band performs in the Magic Kingdom parade: April 14, 2023 - Orlando, Florida (Courtesy Lorne Hyskell)
  • Morgantown High School Marching band takes a group picture in Disney World (Courtesy Lorne Hyskell)

“A lot of what’s in band is kind of like the family aspect,” Bordogna said. “We have traditions and we have a lot of social gatherings and this was a big one. Being with your closest friends and the people that you have to be close to to work with all year, for almost a week straight, is really great. And I will never forget it.”

Blonairz and Bordogna both agreed that sharing their passion for music and the experience of marching down Main St. U.S.A. with fellow band members was truly memorable.

“Getting to march and walk and see the castle behind me, it was a really surreal moment,” Blonairz said. “I’ll never forget the feeling of being able to march down Main St. U.S.A., and the feeling of doing it with 186 people who I’m closest to. Getting that was a really special experience I don’t think I’ll be able to forget.”