Wyandotte School Music Department to Go on Canadian Tour – The News Herald

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Student musicians from Roosevelt High School will soon find themselves playing the role of ambassadors as they embark on a highly anticipated performance tour of Canada this week.

The school’s music department, under the direction of Mark D’Angelo and string orchestra director William Schumann, is preparing for a trip that was due to take place around this time last year.

“Our students’ historic journey was originally scheduled for April 2021; however, in the midst of the pandemic, we had to make different arrangements,” said D’Angelo, who is director of instrumental music. “Even now, our students will likely be one of the first American ambassadors to Canada since the pandemic began and the borders closed in March 2020.”

The instrumental music department is made up of nearly 200 students at Roosevelt High School and is home to two bands, two string orchestras, a jazz ensemble, a percussion ensemble, and a marching band. Due to the cost of travel and current restrictions for group travel across the border, only 60 students will participate in this performance tour.

“Currently, the Canadian government still requires all tourists to be fully vaccinated to cross the border into Canada, as well as random testing when crossing the border, but beyond that, we are doing everything we can to maintain the safety of our students,” D’ said Angelo.

Mark D’Angelo leads the Roosevelt High School band during a performance in New Orleans. (Photo courtesy of Mariaelena Morales of Brightspark Travel)

Students and their principals will depart Wyandotte on April 28 and travel directly to Montreal, where members of the school orchestra have been invited to perform at the famous Notre Dame Basilica at 11:30 a.m. on April 29.

The group will then travel to Quebec City where, on April 30, all students will participate in an outdoor community performance on the Dufferin Terrace, with a breathtaking view of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area. A guided tour of these historic Canadian cities will conclude with a nighttime viewing of Ontario’s illuminated Niagara Falls.

The last leg of their tour will be special for D’Angelo, as it will be his hometown of Jamestown, New York.

While in Jamestown, they will perform a special show for students at CV Bush Elementary School at 11:30 a.m. on May 2, which is right across from D’Angelo’s childhood home. The group will also visit the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, as well as the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum.

“An interesting fact that few people know is that Lucille Ball, who called Jamestown, New York, her childhood home, also lived in Wyandotte, Michigan, with her parents before her father died of typhoid fever in 1915,” D’ says Angelo. “It’s nice that I can say that I also have the two cities in common with the first lady of comedy, Lucille Ball.”

D’Angelo graduated from Jamestown High School and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from West Virginia University a few years before moving to Michigan.

The tour will also include a performance in Jamestown, New York, Mark D’Angelo’s hometown. He is seen here wearing a Jamestown Band jacket with the Wyandotte Marching Chiefs during a 2021 Clarkston Marching Band Invitational. (Photo courtesy of Mark D’Angelo)

It should be noted that the Wyandotte instrumental music program celebrates its 95th anniversary this year.

Some of the band’s famous performances include performances in the New Orleans Easter Parade and in Jackson Square; the New York City Memorial Day Parade and an orchestra performance at the Statue of Liberty; the Disney World Easter Parade; the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade; Indianapolis for the Indy 500 festival parade; Mackinac Island Memorial Day Parade; the Detroit Lions’ Thanksgiving game with Kid Rock; and a performance in Washington, DC, for the 56th Presidential Inaugural Parade.

The group also makes regular appearances in Detroit’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and for the Detroit Red Wings.

Anyone wishing to donate to the student trip this week can do so using Wyandotte Music Booster’s Venmo or PayPal accounts: [email protected] or [email protected], “Ambassador Tour” subject line, or send a donation to RHS Instrumental Music ℅ Roosevelt High School, 540 Eureka Road, Wyandotte, MI 48192.

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