Sophomore Jarred Coppola shares his experiences at the Worldstrides Heritage Festival, including a Disneyland day, March 5-8.

Fresno Christian awarded the overall Sweepstakes award, while jazz band, ladies ensemble win Gold

The Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival, a yearly event that choir and band students can attend, was certainly a blast, March 5-8. The experience I had in participating in this trip is beyond any other trip I have been on here at FC.

The first day that we left for heritage, I didn’t know what to expect. I was a bit frightened that I wouldn’t be included in much, this being because I was one of the youngest high schoolers there. We boarded the bus, and the second I got on, I could feel the excitement in the air. People were jump up and down in their seats, talking non-stop; it seemed like I was in for a great time.

I thought that the bus ride would be extremely long, but it proved to be pretty short and fun. I was able to hang out with friends, eat snacks, and overall just have some fun time to sit back and relax. Really enjoyed spending time with my friends throughout this trip, and I feel like I had a lot of time to get to know them all better.

As we neared Medieval Times, traffic started to get really bad, so we weren’t able to drop our stuff off at the hotel. This probably the only backfire of the bus ride, and it wasn’t a big deal at all either. Once we arrived at Medieval Times, we walked in the doors and got our crowns, bearing the color of our knight. We then took a picture all together, and went in the building. Inside there was a bar, some shops, and horse stables. The horses there were beautiful, pure breed Spanish horses. It was pretty cool to see them up close before watching do spectacular things in the show. After we looked around a bit, the “Prince” came out and told us the rules, and led us to our seats. We sat down, and were automatically greeted by our server. He was a really kind man, I wish I had brought my wallet to tip him! Anyways, the server brought out drinks for us, and the show began.

First, there was the introduction of the knights and the horses. Next, there was a conversation in the royal family. They announced the special guests, which included people on their Honey Moon, people celebrating their birthday and schools/ other groups. The “Queen” asked that the feast begin, and we were brought a huge chunk of chicken. The smell in the air was spectacular, it had everyone’s mouths watering! We started to eat, as the knights started to hold the tournament.

When the announcer announced the Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival 2015 winner to be the Fresno Christian concert choir, we all stood up, the cast of characters came out, confetti spit out, lights flashed, and we were going crazy! Leslie Banister and Susan Ainley went up onto the stage and claimed the huge trophy. Banister was crying tears of joy! –Freshman Jarrod Coppola

First things first, the knights used spears to try to aim at a target. After that, they had a round where the knights tried to hook a ring around a stick while riding a horse at high speed. Next, the knights had a jousting tournament, and fought another night to the death until there was only one left. Our knight, the blue knight actually won! It was really exciting to see the battles. Sparks flew when the swords would clash, there were also maces, axes and slings! By the end of the night, we were pretty tired. My group and I relaxed and watched some TV when we reached the hotel, we also ate some snacks. Then we went to bed, with great anticipation for the fun of the coming day.

The next day we woke up and got dressed, and immediately went out of our hotel. We got breakfast and boarded the bus to Disneyland! Everyone was so excited. We couldn’t wait to spend a day at such a fun place! After we arrived, my friends and I were practically skipping in pure joy as we entered the park. The familiar smells of churros, popcorn and many other tasty snacks returned to our senses. We all immediately went on a ride, which was the Radiator Springs Racers, in the new Cars Land ride. We had such a fun time! The line wasn’t too long either considering that it wasn’t a weekend day.

As the day passed by we went on many rides and continued to live a day in the “happiest place on earth.” As we walked through the park, we saw many familiar characters, such as Donald, Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and even some other characters, like the Evil Queen from Snow White. I actually ended up taking a picture with the Evil Queen, too! I have to say, I don’t ever remember the cast members at Disneyland that played characters acting so well! When we encountered the Evil Queen, she was pretty sassy, and she said things like, “I would have looked good in a picture even if I wasn’t ready to take a picture,” or, “Move! Move to the side!” She even asked one little girl to bow to her!

We ended up eating at the Tomorrow Land fast food restaurant for lunch, and the Plaza Inn for dinner. The food was really good, but it was expensive. As the day came to a close, we heard that Johnny Depp was in the park. But sadly, we didn’t spot him. The voice actor of Anakin Skywalker I the Clone Wars was also there!

Night fell, and we started to head back to our meeting place. We met and boarded the bus that headed for our hotel. When we arrived, we hopped in the beds, and started to kick bad for a bit before bed. I popped some popcorn, and we ate a little and got ready for bed.

When we woke up the next morning, we headed to the performance venue to start setting up for our performances. I was playing in the jazz band for the trip, because I was selected to go out of my percussion class. I played to congas, Trevor Trevino, ’17, played the bass guitar, Andrew Guthrie, ’15, played the saxophone, and Madison Seib, ’15, played the trumpet as well as Janae Shew, ’20. We thought that our performance hadn’t topped that of the other groups, but the awards ceremony that night proved us absolutely wrong.

After the jazz band performed, the ensemble, concert choir and junior high choir preformed. All of them did outstanding performances, and the crowd’s cheers showed major approval. We were able to go to Taco Bell while the choirs were practicing too.

When the bus arrived, we all piled on excitedly, eager to take our second trip to Disneyland. When we arrived, we walked through the gates and stepped right into Downtown Disney. I bought a Disney Sketchbook, which compiled of sketches from a lot of the major Disney animators. After that, we went to Disneyland, and went on a few more rides.

After we had rode a few more attractions, we headed to the awards ceremony. At the ceremony, the fireworks started to go off, but the loud noise made many people jump! After that we enjoyed the awesome colors and lights of the fireworks before the ceremony began. There was a little show put on before the ceremony, which was exciting. After the awards started, they started to explain the rules and what awards meant what. Then they started to announce the awards. Right off the bat, jazz band was awarded gold! Next, ensemble was also awarded gold, followed by concert choir being awarded silver, and junior high choir awarded bronze! We were practically in awe of the amount of awards we won. After all of this, Guthrie won the “If you wish” award, as well as the maestro award. Senior Ivette Ibara also won the maestro award.

After all of this, we expected nothing more. This was it. The overall Heritage Music Festival 2015 trophy was about to be announced. We thought we didn’t stand anywhere close to the bigger schools. But when the announcer announced the winner to be the Fresno Christian Concert Choir, we all stood up, the cast of characters came out, confetti spit out, lights flashed, and we were going crazy! Leslie Banister and Susan Ainley went up onto the stage and claimed the huge trophy. Banister was crying tears of joy!

Afterwards, we celebrated. We took pictures, crowded around the trophy chanting and cheering. We even went to get ice cream afterwards to celebrate. When the bus arrived, we were all ready to go home. We were really tired, after all.

As the day ended, we felt such a great joy to have gone on this trip. I felt so blessed to be a part of such a cool group of people. I really hope to go again next year, because the experience my friends and I had this year was beyond fun. Big shout out to Leslie Banister and Susan Ainley, this trip has been the best school trip I have ever experienced in my life.

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