Marching with Mickey: Winona Senior High Marching Band heads to Florida

November 25, 2017 GMT

Winona Senior High School’s marching band will start its journey to Florida early Saturday morning.

When they arrive, they will march through Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in front of an audience assembled from all over the globe.

Myron Hauge, one of the band directors, looks forward to sharing another great experience with another generation of young musicians.

“Happy. That’s what this group is,” Hauge said. “Whenever we are around them, this group just makes you smile.”

The song they’ll be playing is a piece composed from Justin Timberlake’s tune “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love.”

“They’re just so fun, and so we don’t want a serious tune, not with these guys!” Hauge said.

The entire effort takes teamwork between the students, the school faculty, and parent volunteers.

Laura Behling was helping to organize uniforms so that band members will be ready to get on the bus and leave at 5 a.m. Saturday morning. She’s also coming along to help chaperone and is excited to see her son, Andrew, a senior trombone player, play alongside Mickey Mouse.

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“We know the kids play great; we just want to make sure that they look great,” Behling said.

After they finish loading up the buses, the band will embark on a 29-hour trip, until they reach their destination, Clearwater Beach, Florida.

Layna Rutkowski, a senior, plays the tenor saxophone and went on the Florida trip two years ago as a sophomore.

“Being younger, it was a little bit more nerve wracking being in front of all those people there,” Rutkowski said. “But it was still a lot of fun, I think this year it will be even better. Mr. Gleason and Mr Hauge have worked very hard to keep this Florida thing in the program, and I just hope that we can just make them proud and continue on the tradition.”

Rutkowski also added that “Everyone should join band.”

Jacob Simmons, a senior trombone player, also went on the trip his sophomore year and is excited to embark yet again.

“I didn’t really know what to expect because it was my first time doing it,” Simmons said. “This year, I know what’s happening, I’m looking forward to it more. I think we’re all ready to go down to Florida.”

This is the 12th time that the band will go to Disney World. They apply every two years, and their consistent acceptance shows the caliber that the marching band upholds.

Other high school groups are sometimes not permitted to march or are rejected altogether.

“We’re part of their show — we’re part of their cast,” Hauge said. “We fit in perfectly.”