Tuesday, March 14, 2017

On The Road

We'll be updating this blog throughout the duration of this trip.  Check back often.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Trophies Anyone?

5 of the 6 awards we won at this year's Heritage Music Festival.  Stay tuned for more details on each award.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Is It Too Early To Reminisce?

This was a great trip. Although we were all groggy and exhausted on Friday, the master class at Montclair University was a lot of fun and inspired us all. I know a lot of the band kids were slightly disappointed that we didn't get to perform at Lincoln Center or Trump Tower on Friday, but we got more rest and that helped make the next two days much more enjoyable. The Heritage Music Festival was loads of fun, and we brought home loads of awards! Go Northside! The dinner cruise that night was a great way to end the musical part of our trip, as many of us made friends with students from the other Heritage schools.

We were really glad that Sunday's weather was so nice; it was perfect for walking in Central Park and Times Square. Seeing Matilda was simply amazing. It was so much fun and superbly done (us musical kids are a little worried about how extensive our set is going to be next year... We think the stage of Matilda may have given Mr. Lill some crazy ideas...). 

On the ride home, even though the bus broke down and none of us kids on bus 2 got any sleep because we had to keep switching buses, all in all it just made the trip more memorable and the stories more fun to tell. 

Thank you so much to everyone who made this trip possible, mainly the teachers, chaperones, bus drivers, and parents.  And especially Mr. Park for planning most of it. It was a great experience and I hope Northside decides to do it again sometime. 

Monday, May 27, 2013


21 hours and four buses later, we're home! It was such a great, fun trip. I'm so glad I got to go.

Just as wonderful as all the sights we saw in New York were the patience and kindness with which every person on the trip approached each funny situation we found ourselves in. I felt a lot of pride in Northside when despite seemingly endless delays, short-notice cancellations, and trips to McDonalds, our morale stayed akin to our Heritage Festival scores: deserving of five squillion plaques and trophies. We got along so well, and considering the conspicuously low priority of sleep in the trip itinerary, I think that says a lot about us. Northside rules.

Thank you Mr. Park, Mr. Lill, Ms. Martinez, and all of the parent chaperones!

— Spencer Tweedy (jazz band)

Sweet Home Chicago


We are in Chicago, just south of the Loop. Traffic, of course, is at a crawl. We should be pulling into Northside Prep's lot sometime between 5:45 and 6. 

Mr. Park

Arrival at Northside Prep


We just made our last bus switch, had lunch and are now headed home.  We will be in Cleveland in about 25 minutes and anticipate arriving at Northside Prep at around 5:30 pm.

Mr. Park

Bus #4

Our last bus of the trip has psychedelic seats!  I think everyone's cheered up a bit after lunch.


Stopped in Pennsylvania for breakfast. We made it through the night!

Bus #3

Packed and on the road. 

Returning Late - Update #2


We anticipate a 5:30 pm - 6 pm arrival time.  I will post an updated arrival time once we reach Cleveland, Ohio.

Our apologies for any inconvenience we're causing.  We understand that your children need to be ready and rested for school on Tuesday.  We'll get them home safely and as quickly as we can.

Mr. Park

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Saturday Night Live

We're having a tropical vacation.

Wiped Out

Everyone on the new bus is wiped out.

Bus Breakdown

After frantically feeling around for our belongings in a pitch black bus, we made it on the new bus.

Great news, this bus has seat belts! Twice the safety of our old, somehow broken bus.

PS - There was an absence of student blog posts because we weren't sure if we should post our own views of the situation in danger of confusing things. 

Returning Late - Update #1


It is 2:10 am (EST).  We've transferred passengers and luggage to a new bus and anticipate departure in about 15 minutes.  En route, we will have to make a few extra stops to accommodate a couple more bus changes.

Once we get a handle on time frame, I'll be sure to update you via blog entry.

Mr. Park

Welcome to the Fiasco

At 2 am, after waiting for four hours in New Jersey, we switch buses. Joy!


Returning Late


It is almost midnight (EST).  Unfortunately, we are stuck in New Jersey right now because one of the buses is currently being repaired.  As soon as I am informed of a projected departure time, I will let you know via blog entry.  As it looks right now, we more than likely won't arrive in Chicago until after 12 pm.

Please continue to check the blog for updates.

Mr. Park


We all had a blast on the cruise with other school music groups from the Heritage Festival (Mr. Lill joined in, too!).

U.S.S. Intrepid

We just visited the sea, air and space museum at the U.S.S. Intrepid! During its service in the WWII, Cold War, and Korean War eras, the Intrepid held more than 3,000 serviceman who worked as airmen, cooks, navigators and even barbers. It was cool to see the planes and helicopters on its flight deck so closely (among them were a historic Lockheed Blackbird and a Blue Angel); inside the ship, we found ourselves itching to sneak past the "Do Not Enter" curtains and explore the Intrepid's un-museum-ized parts.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Awoke in the land of the rising suns. (This is a bald joke.)

Band, orchestra and choir all performed admirably. Always an honor to be among these peeps. 

These two won an award. 

And these two won all the awards, which they promptly passed away to the students after recognizing the trophies as nothing more than plastic recognition symbols for work whose true significance lies in the vast impact it leaves on students lives, not in the temporal, fleeting bliss of a job well done in contest. There in the auditorium, choral, or band rooms at ten o'clock in the morning on dead Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, are fine men and women at work. Am infinitely grateful for people like MLP, Mr. Lill, and Ms. Martinez. Knowing all this didn't stop me from getting my picture taken with every trophy. Feels good on top baby!

Then we were teenagers, which was fun.  

And once again, Annie won at life. 

Good night America. 

The Statue of Liberty

This dinner cruise is where it's at. Look, the Statue of Liberty!


Awards (Pt 2)

More awards!!!

Our Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble just won the Adjudicator's Award (average score of 92 and above out of 100 from the judges)! Good job!

Five students were also awarded and recognized for individual talent, skill, and prowess, and as you can see, our very own Linnea Scott is up there! Great job Linnea!

Our orchestra also just won the Outstanding Orchestra Award! Good job Orchestra!

I am blogging all this live and in real-time, I hope to have better pictures and a better summary later!

- Kevin J. Lee

Awards (Part 1)

We just won the Sweepstakes for Instrumental Division Award, being the closest to 200 points (a perfect score)! Great job to the orchestra, band, and jazz ensemble (who also won awards in their various categories)!

- Kevin J. Lee

PS - The trophy was too big to take a whole picture of, so here is the label!

Riverside Church

Waiting for the awards ceremony to begin. Look where choir got to perform!


Bus 1 - Lady Liberty in Back

Passengers from Bus 1 posing w Lady Liberty in the background. We'll be seeing her up close in a few hours when we hop on a dinner cruise to celebrate our accomplishments at this year's NYC Heritage Music Festival.

Video: Orchestra at Heritage

I know I'm supposed to blog for band, but I tried to video the orchestra's performance. Unfortunately, my iPhone ran out of storage room so I only got the first piece (Blue Ridge Run) and some really cool first notes of the second (Amadare).



The Heritage Music Festival is in Riverside Church, which is beautiful!

We also found that the bathrooms have Chicago faucets... Coincidence?

Napping Wherever Possible

Everyone is sleep deprived. Rory found a comfy spot for a quick nap.

Breakfast Served

Nice spread this morning. Breakfast served at 6. Hopped on bus at 6:45. En route to the Heritage Music Festival for a 7:30 am arrival and warm up. Orchestra will be on stage performing at 8:30 am. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thirsty for Donald?

Well, look no further. Trump-personalized water!

- Kevin J. Lee

There are Ten Million Put in the Bay Ohios

We left Chicago and the waves were gnarly. 

The wind was going strong in Ohio as well. America was there as per usual.

We stopped for Sbarro once. 

We stopped for Sbarro again. 

 MLP was so excited about the multiple Sbarros that he started waving his hands like a mad man! It was as if he had just had his first taste of a fire cooked meal!

Meanwhile, Andrew took care of his teeth like a regular human.

No one slept at all and then we reached this truck stop, which likely existed in The Twilight Zone. I was tired enough to read truck stop as Turk stop. It was funny at the time (3 am).

We drove until New Jersey, where it is apparently "A-Okay" to spike a grapefruit with Red Bull. 

We had a master class with this guy who spoke with passion and composure about calculus and eighth notes and fatherhood and music. It was amazing.

And then we were in New York. 

Lincoln Center was awesome and my photos of it are terrible. In my defense, there should not technically be any photos of Lincoln Center.

This sign revealed the secret cause of the current economic downturn: Fire. 

John has been making profound statements and quietly playing the ukulele and is being a generally great bus buddy.

Annie and Rory have been making terrible jokes and testing the patience of our chaperones and are also generally great bus buddies. 

It's been exhausting but lovely.