The Davis High bands returned from their annual spring tour on May 20. This year, the band students went to Victoria, British Columbia, on Vancouver Island.
After a short flight to Seattle in the early morning of May 16, the bands attended a clinic at the University of Washington with DHS band director Tom Slabaugh’s former mentor. The clinic helped the bands prepare for their three performances in Victoria.
Later in the afternoon in Seattle, students also visited the Experience Music Project (EMP) Museum, which houses famous musical artifacts and even science fiction and fantasy memorabilia from pop culture. The museum also had sounds labs where visitors could get their jam on with real musical instruments.
The bands crossed into Canada on the second day, despite having a slight delay at the border that included everyone on the “Maple Syrup” bus having to get out of the bus and go through customs.
“Sometimes that (crossing the border) goes smoothly, [and] sometimes it doesn’t, so we have to plan for whether we cross in 10 minutes or whether it takes multiple hours, and this time it was kind of in the middle of the two,” DHS Band Boosters president John Horn said.
Following a roughly two-hour ferry ride to the island, the bands had a number of sightseeing escapades, one of which was the famous Butchart Gardens. There, students toured the blooming gardens, including the renowned Sunken Garden.
Students had plenty of free time throughout the trip when not committed to organized band activities. Band members were free to roam the city, seeing the pier, touring the legislative building of the province of British Columbia and buying souvenirs.
The bands were in Victoria just in time for Victoria Day, a day dedicated to Queen Victoria’s birthday; the late queen turned 195 this year.
On the commemorative celebration, students had the opportunity to watch the parade that featured various groups, both local and international, including high school marching bands, firefighters and military personnel. Students who were also present in front of the parliament building at noon also had the chance to see and hear very clearly the 21-gun salute to the queen by the Canadian armed forces and their three artillery pieces along the pier.
That afternoon, the Jazz Band and the Wind Ensemble, which comprised of members from the Jazz, Symphonic and Concert Bands, played in front of the parliament building to a crowd of hundreds.
Junior Ricky Tan said that the concert in front of the parliament building was one of the best parts of the trip.
“It was a good concert; we performed well, and it was probably the most people we have ever performed for, so that was nice,” Tan said.
The bands celebrated their last night in Victoria with a farewell party that included an upbeat dance party, with even several of the chaperones partaking in the fun. Horn said that the party was one of his most memorable moments from this year’s spring tour.
“The party last night was probably one of the best parties that we’ve had. It was just a lot of fun; the setup was really conducive to people having a good time and had a good party location,” Horn said.
Horn also added that despite expecting a lot of rainfall during the trip, the bands experienced beautiful weather that made this trip very special.
Tan thought that this year’s trip was one to remember and also said that he will be sure to come back some day.
“It was different from Disneyland, [where we went last year,] but in a way that they’re both so amazing that you just can’t compare them,” Tan said.
While this year’s trip has drawn to a close, Horn said that he’s looking forward to planning next year’s trip to San Diego.