Towards the end of the school year, 30 of the Italy Gladiator Regiment band members, accompanied by 9 chaperones travelled to New York City on what became a trip of firsts. For many of the students, this was their first time out of state, on an airplane, on a train, on the subway, on a rowboat, and/or on a skyscraper.
The trip began with a 5 AM drive to DFW airport to catch a 9 AM flight to Newark International. Upon arrival, the band braved through the New Jersey and New York mass transit systems during evening rush hour to reach their hotel on the lower East side of Manhattan, otherwise known as Chinatown. The students were treated to a New York style pizza dinner before embarking on a brief walking tour of Chinatown and Little Italy.
The second day of the trip started off with a subway ride to the American Museum of Natural History. This is the museum featured in the movie, “Night at the Museum.” Students toured the continentally-themed halls through the morning and early afternoon, viewing life sized replicated animals in exhibits made to look like their natural habitat. For much of the afternoon, students explored Central Park and the surrounding area. Some rented a rowboat or had a self-portrait made by a park artist. That evening, the band attended a baseball game at Yankee Stadium between the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees.
The third day began with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. At the memorial, the students got to see the two pools that sit in place of where the twin towers were. The museum served not only to honor those lives that were taken as a result of the attack but to give visitors a better perspective of the extent of the damage. The subterranean museum gave visitors an up close view of the towers’ foundation, building wreckage, personal artifacts found in the wreckage as well as an exhibit cataloguing the minute by minute timeline of the morning of 9/11. For many students and chaperones, this was the most impactful part of the trip.
The day continued with a visit to the top of Rockefeller Center. The students travelled approximately 70 stories high in a matter of seconds to get to the observation deck where they had a great view of the city. The students then spent the evening eating, shopping and navigating through the crowds of thousands at Time Square.
Before returning on the last day, the band rode the Staten Island Ferry alongside the Statue of Liberty.
The band would like to thank the staff and administration of Italy ISD for their support and flexibility in the planning of the trip. The band would also like to thank the Band Boosters and officers for their support and anyone that helped support the band through donations or any of the fundraising campaigns held throughout the year. In addition, the band would like to thank the chaperones for giving of their time and resources to ensure the safety of each student.