Lamar High School’s Band and Orchestra programs end the year with a much delayed trip to Houston Texas from March 24-27. This is heir first trip since the COVID-19 pandemic hit in spring of 2020.
“Students made their own decisions regarding their safety and health. Some were very serious about it… basically the same rules that apply to school applied to the trip as well,” Andrew Walton, the head orchestra director, said. “But we weren’t allowed to travel last year at all, so this is the first year back. We were all really excited, and I believe everybody had a really good time.”
On the trip, the band and orchestra performed at Kemah Boardwalk, which, Walton and James Hogan (an orchestra director at Lamar) said went really well. Additionally, the group spent one day at NASA, saw the Houston Symphony, and went to Main Event (an arcade and bowling alley). Most students and directors said that the boardwalk was their overall favorite event as they walked around, played games, rode the rides and overall enjoyed the day.
“The boardwalk was 100% the best thing we did while we were in Houston,” Hannah Bankhead, a Junior at Laar and member of the band, said. “We got to hang out with friends, we all ate yummy snacks, and played some of the games that were there. It was really fun and I’d absolutely go on the trip again,”
The trip had been approved since August of 2021, and payments for those who wished to attend began around October. During the trip meeting, which helped to prepare/instruct students and parents, students had the opportunity to choose who they wanted to room with. Those who went, such as Hannah Bankhead and junior Chloe Walter, mentioned how much they enjoyed this as every night was spent with their friends.
“It was kinda just like one big sleepover every night. I can honestly say I would have gone for that reason alone,” Walter said. “I really had a lot of fun and my friends being there just made it better.”
The trips interlacing between Lamar’s fine arts programs is a regular occurrence due to its ability to bring friends together and unify the fine arts at Lamar. Additionally, with band and orchestra, there were more parent chaperones and the number of directors instantly doubled.
“It’s really cool that we travel together, I think that it brings some unity across all of Lamar’s fine arts program. We have traveled with choir before, and I do see the joint trips being a regular occurrence,” Walton said.