Being the concerned director, I was the first one in uniform the day of our big concert. I marched out of my room, cap squarely on my head and baton held like a riding crop. Word got out of a plot to hide from me until it was time to go, but Melanie, bless her soul, didn't want me to have a heart attack so the plot was called off!  We were to be on our bus at 1:30 p.m. to head over to EPCOT for our big concert. But first, we posed for a photo session under the huge star in front of our hotel. Everyone looked great in their white band shirts, navy slacks and brand new Columbia blue caps.

We boarded the bus and headed to EPCOT. What was really interesting was the fact we entered through the employees' entrance and saw  the theme park from the backside. Everything was kept just as pristine and neat as the side seen by millions each year. A few Disney employees were enjoying a smoke break which we thought was kind of funny.

We arrived at the Magic Music Days Staging Area located behind Italy and within a few moments met our host and talent coordinator, Otto. Otto is a retired French hornist from the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point. He took us to our warmup room which was a great air-conditioned band hall. He briefed the group and let us alone to warm up and rehearse a bit before our concert. Melanie and the percussionists left with Otto, once we assembled at our point of entry,  to approve the stage setting and to position the percussion equipment. Jim and Doris Pell, John Huber, and Rodney Nees were very impressed with the bass drum and cymbals at our disposal. We had made arrangements to use Disney's cymbals and bass drum several weeks earlier. It saved us packing our own. Doris, by the way, is an excellent bass drummer!



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