CHS Band Marches Their Way to Disneyland


Clarion photo Gary Riler

Cleveland’s marching band, lead by Gary Riler, marching down Disneyland’s Main Street

By Lily Tewfik, Reporter

Cleveland’s band program had the opportunity to march at Disneyland over spring break, and according to the students, it was a hit.

“The trip was awesome. The chaperones thought it was amazing, and I had kids come up to me and say it was the best trip they’ve ever had,” said Gary Riler, Cleveland band director.

According to Sylvan Talavera, senior, the majority of the time was spent exploring Disneyland and California Adventure, but they were able to venture out into Santa Monica on one of the days, as well as participate in some band-related activities.

“Most of the days we spent going on rides in Disneyland, but on Friday we were able to march through main street in Disneyland and play, and on the third day we did a clinic where we played the music from excerpts of Disney movies that was then put into the films for us to watch, and we spent the first day at the Santa Monica pier,” said Talavera.

The main part of the trip was the opportunity to march down Main Street in Disneyland and perform their memorized piece, according to Max Bekleyen, sophomore.

According to Riler, 88 student attended the trip and the majority of them were upperclassmen, but several freshmen jumped in at the last minute and were able to go as well.  

The trip was originally planned for next year, according to Riler, but after parents reached out to him, he moved it up to this year.

“It was a trip I was planning to do starting next year, but the seniors’ parents insisted that they wanted their kids to go and we talked about it and decided it was a good idea, so I found someone to help me and we organized the entire trip ourselves,” said Riler.

Moving the date provided some issues in terms of fundraising, but they pulled together and were able to raise the money in one year, instead of two.

“It was a one year cycle, and it’s really hard to raise that much money in a year, which had me worried, but we somehow did it. But we’ll do it every two years from this point forward, every even year,” said Riler.

Riler worked hard to prepare the students for the trip. He had to ensure everyone had a marching uniform, organized after school marching rehearsals, and set money-raising deadlines for the students.

Bekleyen wanted to thank Riler especially for the work he put in, along with their trip coordinator, and the representatives from Disney.

“Honestly the trip was handled very professionally by Mr. Riler and the trip coordinator and the Disney representatives that helped us for the marching and sight reading session,” said Bekleyen.

Overall, the trip went very well, especially considering the short time frame they dealt with, and that this was the first trip of its kind for the band program.