A Disneyland tradition for more than half a century that brought the sounds of trumpets, saxophones and drums marching down Main Street U.S.A. has come to a sudden end with the abrupt cancellation of a beloved college music program.
The Disneyland All-American College Band program that has been an institution at the Anaheim theme park for more than 50 years will be going on indefinite hiatus, according to social media posts on the band’s official Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Disneyland officials said the college music program that impacted thousands of participants and countless visitors would leave a lasting legacy at the park, according to a letter from Disneyland posted to the All-American College Band social media pages.
“We are proud of that legacy and want you to know that the Disneyland resort remains committed to offering unique educational performance opportunities for college students across the country,” according to the Disneyland letter.
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Since 1971, the All-American College Band has performed in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, along Main Street U.S.A. and in Disneyland’s Town Square. The marching band accompanied Disney favorites such as “Under the Sea” and “Let It Go” with signature dance moves that made the group a fan favorite in the park.
Drummer and alumni Steve Such — who has toured with the “Rock Of Ages” Broadway musical — begged Disneyland to reconsider the move, which he called “sad.”
“This program has literally changed hundreds of lives, myself included. Thousands when you consider the positive ripple effects across the music industry.” Such wrote on Facebook.
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The Disneyland All-American College Band made a triumphant return in summer 2022 after a three-year pause of the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Disneyland All-American College Band was forced to suspend the program in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic shutdown that shuttered Disneyland for 412 days.
For decades, band members were selected from 300-plus applicants annually from colleges across the United States. The hands-on training with world-renowned artists and producers was designed to prepare the band members for careers in the music industry.
The band typically performed five days a week for 11 weeks throughout the Disneyland resort with 21 students from colleges and universities around the United States, according to DAPS Magic.
The All-American College Band is different from the Disneyland Band that has performed at the park since opening day in 1955. The Disneyland Band returned in June 2021 after a 15-month absence from the park due to the pandemic.