/ Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Extraordinary Magic in Everyday Life

by Blake Taylor

Walt Disney RecordsMy phone buzzed, and I glanced down at the text: “Did you hear about the Disney concert?”

What. What? WHAT? Disney concert?

My reply: “Whaaaaat? When is it?”

It turns out the performance was that very night right on campus, and my friend knew I’d be interested in going. At $5 a head, funds would be raised for a children’s hospital, and what ensued was a night that not only helped an excellent cause, but delivered a huge helping of—dare I say it—magic.

I had been to a few performances in the music building before, but those had all been by one specific person or group each time, and always for academic purposes. But this would be an evening comprised of multiple groups and bands, playing beloved music that we all know and love.

There was a distinctive aura of excitement in the air before the concert began. As people perused through their programs, all throughout the room I heard remarks like, “Oh, this is going to be so good,” “Yes! They’re singing Little Mermaid, that’s my favorite,” and “Hercules! Oh man, I just watched that the other day. It’s the best.”

Everyone was excited for not just a night of talented musicians (which it was), but also for a step back to a world that holds a special place in many people’s lives.

I didn’t quite know what to expect, but the first song (“Belle”) immediately blew everyone in the room away and set the tone for the remainder of the show. We were treated to it all: Disney music from every era in a variety of styles. Some of the unique arrangements included “Some Day My Prince Will Come” from Snow White performed by a jazz band and “Married Life” from Up on saxophones. Woah Nellie, that one was cool.

The crowd favorite was the sing-along, during which the audience was encouraged to (and did) sing a medley of Disney tunes, getting rather enthusiastic at times. (I’ll be honest and say that hearing an entire room full of people 18-and-older belting “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan was one of the highlights of my year.) The finale of the show was a brass arrangement of “Go the Distance” from Hercules that segued seamlessly into “When You Wish Upon a Star.” I am telling you, that transition was impressive.

There was no question that every person in attendance enjoyed themselves immensely. It was just neat to experience Disney’s vast, adored music library in such a fresh way with a crowd that clearly appreciated these songs. Everyone involved did an excellent job.

And the best part is that this type of event isn’t very rare! I have seen, on multiple occasions, advertisements for similar Disney concerts around my area, whether from a symphony or a choir or what have you. If your town is putting one on, go!

As we prepared to leave the auditorium, a friend I attended with said, “I really wish I hadn’t come.”

“What?” I asked, taken aback.

She replied, “Because now I just want to go home and watch a bunch of Disney movies.”

Blake is a college student focusing on Creative Writing and Media Studies. He enjoys making his family of six watch the parade on Main Street and then sprint to Frontierland in time to see it again. You can follow Blake’s random Disney ramblings on Twitter at @blakeonline, or at BlakeOnline.com.