Choir students perform at Walt Disney World

In order to perform at Epcot Center’s Candlelight Processional, a holiday singing event, the choir spent months practicing and fundraising. The choir performed on November 30.

After months of preparation through fundraising and practice, the choir performs in the Candlelight Processional, a Christmas themed singing event at Walt Disney World, during a trip spanning from November 29 to December 2.
The choir performed two back to back concerts on November 30 at Epcot. Students donned golden robes and carried artificial candles.
They were joined by 2 other choirs as well as the Voices of Liberty, the professional Disney chorus. In between songs, Ming Na-Wen, voice actress for Mulan and Agents of Shield actress, narrated the christmas story.
The process started over a year ago. The chorus had to submit a recording of them singing “O Holy Night,” which was then viewed by Disney event coordinators and directors.
Since the school year began, the choir has been practicing the 14 Disney songs as well as the concert songs. According to choir director, Teresa Washam, they gradually began practicing the songs more and more as the trip approached.
“ We’ve just been working on a little by little and now we’ll start doing more and more as we get closer,” said Washam, “but I’ll be ready.”
The total trip cost for students was $1,299, which was split into 4 payments of $260. Students received a total of $40 to spend on food alone at the parks.
Students were offered opportunities to fundraise through many different methods. In total, the choir, as a whole, participated in 8 fundraisers.
One student’s mother, Paula Bywaters, planned these events. One fundraiser allowed students to volunteer in parking cars at the Harleysville Jaycees fair.
“Taking shifts at car parking before or after going to the fair,” said Bywaters, “was an easy way to give time to the community and get a donation for their time back.”
Some students took fundraising into their own hands, such as freshman Bailey Yoder. According to Yoder, her group and her spent time fundraising outside of the schools opportunities.
“I partook in bake sales and making and selling hoagies,” said Yoder, “this made an exceptional amount of money for me to use during the trip.”
Through fundraising Yoder was allowed to perform in the Candlelight Processional and the hard work paid off with a “worthwhile” trip.
“The Candlelight Processional was an amazing experience.” Yoder said, “The choir was just so strong, also seeing the professionals up there singing their hearts out really proved to me that if you want something you have to work hard for it.”
Chorus students were offered “the trip of a lifetime”, according to sophomore Jadyn Hollowbush.
“This is definitely something I’m going to remember forever.” Hollowbush said, “Being surrounded by my friends while performing at Epcot was something I never would’ve imagined happening, but it was spectacular.”
To mark the choir’s achievements, students received embroidered “Mickey ears”as called by Disney staff, and a golden Mickey cutout trophy.