To The Herald-Whig:
There was an expectant murmur as the crowd in the grandstand saw the Quincy High Blue Devil marching band at the starting point before the reviewing stand of the Citrus Bowl Parade.
When they were given the "go" sign, the students, dressed in royal blue and white, moved with precision and clear, sharp sound. Even their shadows made picture-perfect diagonals as they swept past the grandstand and television cameras. The QHS orchestra and choir members, who had been sitting in the stands and applauding the preceding 49 entries in the parade, rose to their feet in unison. Their cheers of support and pride echoed off the building across the street. The strangers sitting behind us said, "Wow! Hard to believe they are a high school band."
That was only the beginning of the performances from the over 200 QHS students who traveled to Florida over the holiday week. The choir performed by the Macy's Christmas tree at Universal Studios on a chilly morning and two days later on the very warm Dockside stage at Disney Studios. The results were the same. Many people gathered. The strangers comments varied from "beautiful" to "extremely well-balanced and skilled."
The band marched down Disney Main Street on New Year's Eve. Their bright blue and white was accented by the blue-trimmed Disney castle in the background and the clear blue sky. People of all nationalities clapped and smiled as they played constantly from the moment they started at the bridge until the last flag whipped into the gated backstage Disney at the end of the parade.
As the orchestra began playing at the Dockside Stage on New Year's Day, the seating in the open air auditorium filled to capacity. So many people passing by were drawn to their performance that the Disney people had to direct traffic an alternate way. The audience expressed appreciation for the skill and sound of these high school students, comparing them to famous orchestras.
We know this overall quality of music from so many is the result of very dedicated practice from the students, excellent teaching, and continued support from parents and family.
All Quincy and surrounding area people need to take advantage of the opportunities to see and hear these students perform at concerts, Octoberfest, musicals, vespers, Showcase of Excellence, New Faces, and more. They truly are great students making great sounds.