RHHS Bands in Orlando!

Orlando 2020!

Dear Band Families,

The annual spring trip has become a very important part of our music calendar. Many of last year’s students indicated that the trip was their favorite of all of our activities. In order to make it as easy as possible for EVERY student to participate, I have scheduled a trip that is fun, educational, relatively short, as inexpensive as possible, and will involve very little missed class time. In order for our Bands to be able to function as they do in school, we need everyone to perform.

Our visit to Orlando, as noted on the Band Calendar, will be on April 2nd - 6th,

and will include:

  • Performance in a National Music Festival

  • Positive, constructive adjudication with recorded and written comments

  • On-stage Performance Clinic by a Nationally Recognized Adjudicator

  • Performance recordings

  • Awards ceremony

  • Transportation on Deluxe Motor Coach (Restrooms, Wifi, DVD)

  • 2-day Park-to-Park admission ticket to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure

  • Kennedy Space Center tour

  • Group dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios

  • 3 nights lodging at Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort

  • snacks for the bus

  • trip t-shirt


The cost of the trip is dependent on our ability to fill two buses - the fewer empty seats, the lower each student’s cost. I expect the total cost to be between $750 and $850 per student, which means the kids are getting A LOT for their money. And don’t forget - the more you take advantage of the Trip program, the lower your cost. It’s simple, and it’s FREE MONEY, just for making your regular family purchases. Please visit the Band Booster website for details. We need to get started right away so we can lock in the bus company and the hotel. Here is the payment schedule:

1st Payment ($200.00 check payable to River Hill High School) due by Wednesday, 9/25/19

2nd Payment ($200 check payable to River Hill High School) due by Wednesday, 11/13

3rd Payment ($200 check payable to River Hill High School) due by Wednesday, 1/8

4th Payment ($100-$200 check payable to River Hill High School) due by Wednesday, 2/26

Due to the reservations required, Spring Trip Payments are non-refundable, unless for some reason we decide not to travel at all, in which case all payments will be returned. Please note that checks must be made out to River Hill High School, NOT to the Music Boosters.


Parent chaperones will be needed to assist with managing students while on the trip. Chaperones must travel with the students and be available for all events/activities. Parents with a medical background are especially welcome additions to the team. Please indicate your interest in chaperoning on the Commitment Contract below. Chaperone cost will be very

similar to the student cost. Chaperones will be 2 or 3 to a room in the hotel.


Attached is a Commitment Contract to be signed and returned to Mr. Blackman. I NEED FOR EVERYONE TO RETURN THIS FORM. A spot can not be held for a student without a signed contract and first payment, all in an envelope. Rates for this event are dependent on the number of participants; therefore it is imperative that all forms are returned no later than next Wednesday, September 25th.

Remember - this trip is for ALL Band students. Every member is needed in order for us to be at our best.

I look forward to traveling to Orlando with all of my fabulous students!


Michael Blackman

RHHS Band Director





Academy Express coach buses, equipped with restrooms, TV, and DVD player


Universal’s Cabana Bay Resort. Students will be assigned 4 to a room where possible.


Wednesday, April 1st

Evening meeting for final trip preparations at school - mandatory for students and parents

Thursday, April 2nd

Depart early from RHHS

meals en route (not included)

check in to hotel

Friday, April 3rd

Breakfast in hotel (not included)


Lunch (not included)

Universal Studios!

Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe’

Saturday, April 4th

Breakfast in hotel (not included)

Universal Studios!

Lunch (not included)

Dinner (not included)

Awards ceremony

Sunday, April 5th

Breakfast in hotel (not included)

check out of hotel

Kennedy Space Center tour

Depart for RHHS

lunch and dinner en route (not included)

Monday, April 6th

Breakfast en route to RHHS

Arrive RHHS late morning




What is the Heritage Music Festival?

The Heritage Music Festival celebrates outstanding music-making by high school bands, choirs, orchestras, and chamber ensembles. The positive performance atmosphere provides a place for growth, cooperative encouragement, and mutual respect among music programs, students, parents, boosters, and administrators. The festival is held in multiple locations throughout the country, including Orlando. This trip will have official approval from both RHHS administration and the school system, and is considered an excused absence from school for the two days that are involved.

Who will be attending the Festival?

Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble students will travel together. Every member is essential to helping us have our very best performance, and I am hoping that the “Orlando Ensembles” will be be the same as the "RHHS Bands” who will have just performed at their County Assessment and whose spring concert is shortly after we return from traveling!

What will students be doing at the Festival?

Students will perform a concert for (potentially) several hundred musicians, after which they will work with collegiate and professional conductors in a clinic setting. Students will attend concerts featuring other high school ensembles from across the nation. There is fun, social time, too. The festival concludes with an awards banquet.

Why is it so important for us to go to the festival?

The opportunity to perform in a concert for nationally recognized adjudicators and for an attentive and educated audience is something the students will never forget. It is also important that the accomplishments of our River Hill musicians are celebrated outside of the school community.

How many chaperones are needed?

We need at least one adult for every 25 students, and last year we had many more than that! We can continue to accommodate chaperones until our buses are full, and we welcome all of the parent participation that we can get.

What types of responsibilities will chaperones have while on the trip?

Chaperones are needed to assist with checking attendance, inspecting hotel rooms, moving equipment, accompanying students during free time if requested, etc.

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