UGA School of Music student spends summer with Disneyland All-American College Band

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Lillie Smith, a rising senior music education major at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music, is in Anaheim, Calif., this summer as part of the Disneyland All-American College Band program. 

A Disneyland Resort tradition since 1971, the program gives top college musicians from across the United States the opportunity to perform and learn about the entertainment industry through performances at a Disney Theme Park, clinics with world-renowned artists and experiences in nearby Hollywood.

“I heard about the program in October [2015] and I had to submit a tape by mid December, so I got right on it,” said Smith, a trumpeter. “I ended up getting a callback for the January live audition, and I went down to [Florida State University] and got that done.”

Three months later, Smith received the call inviting her to Disneyland, where she now performs five days a week and attends daily clinics/rehearsals each morning with other student musicians from Michigan, North Texas, Juilliard and more.

“Over 700 college students from all over the nation auditioned and only 21 were accepted,” said Smith.

Even among this select group from distinguished institutions, Smith has excelled: she serves as the classical/solo chair.

“That means that I play first trumpet in our patriotic set and get all the solos in the street sets throughout the day,” said Smith.

The band plays five sets each day, one on stage in a big band/jazz format and four on the streets of the park as a marching/show band.

“As far as I know, I’m the first person from UGA to have this opportunity,” said Smith. “I want to come back and encourage other people to audition and, hopefully, get the Hugh Hodgson School of Music some more representatives in the band.”

The UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music is a rising national leader in musical education and performance. With over 300 undergraduate and 200 graduate students, the School of Music trains the music performers, educators, scholars, composers and therapists of tomorrow with world-class facilities, unparalleled instruction and hundreds of performance opportunities each year.