The All-American College Orchestra’s first ever “all years” reunion took place June 19-20, 2015 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Forty-seven alumni plus families, Jim and Karen Christensen (and sons), Rick and Cissie Goodstein, and Ron Logan were in attendance.
The event was hosted by Disney Performing Arts (DPA), with a special thank you to Rene Perez for his efforts in making it happen. DPA did a phenomenal job providing the rehearsal and performance spaces, chairs, stands, microphones/amplifiers, recording and pictures, large instruments including all percussion, manpower, one free park hopper pass per person, and discounted extra park tickets.
Friday’s events included a morning rehearsal at the beautiful Saratoga Springs Resort Performance Hall. Attendees were given a free afternoon to eat, catch-up, and visit the theme parks. The Dessert Reception was held that evening at Epcot Center. A brief celebration ceremony was held, and then we were escorted to the Eau de France plaza for Illuminations. Videos of the ceremony are located here.
Saturday’s events started with another morning rehearsal at Saratoga Springs, a free afternoon to visit, and then our evening performance at the Waterside Stage in Downtown Disney. Our set list included:
- Disney on Parade Overture
- Beauty and the Beast (Jessica Wright and Scott Auby, singers)
- Sophisticated Ladies Suite:
- Mancini Medley
- Someday my Prince Will Come (Jessica Wright, singer)
- Latin Carnival
Conducting duties were split between Jim Christensen, Rick Goodstein, and Douglas Droste. The concert had a threat of storms, but a window of good weather allowed us to perform with quite an amazing backdrop of rainbows and a bright orange sunset. The after concert reception was held at Rix Lounge at the Coronado Springs Resort.
Photos and videos of the reunion are available on:
The reunion committee wishes to thank everyone for not only making the effort to attend, but also helping establish the overall positive and feel-good nature of the event. From conversations with many reunion attendees, it has been determined that we will attempt our next official reunion in summer of 2017. Details on the summer 2017 reunion will be available in late summer 2016. Gatherings with other AACO alumni before summer 2017 are certainly encouraged, but any “official” reunion activities, particularly those which require assistance from Disney, should be coordinated through Douglas Droste.