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Apr 7, 2017 11:30 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Cancelled Flight Dashes Disney Dream For Hampton Bays Marching Band

The Hampton Bays Marching band will not be able to march at Disney World in Florida on Friday after half the band got stuck in New York when their flight was cancelled. FILE PHOTO
Apr 12, 2017 9:48 AM

A series of unfortunate plane delays grounded the Hampton Bays marching band’s planned stroll down “Main Street USA” at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom this past Friday.

According to Schools Superintendent Lars Clemensen, the 82 students—who were originally slated to perform in February but had to reschedule for Friday because of snow—were booked on two different flights leaving from LaGuardia Airport in Queens last Thursday night, April 6, and within one hour of each other. The second flight that was supposed to transport 36 of the students had to be canceled by Delta Airlines because of the lack of a flight crew.

The district worked all night with the airline to try and find another solution but was unable to come up with a way to transport the three dozen students to Orlando in time from any other New York airport.

“Due to a tremendous amount of travel challenges, the second plane of high school music students will return to Hampton Bays later this morning,” the district posted on its Facebook page on Friday morning. “No flights or charters are available from Albany to Baltimore with any city in Florida. Outlandish possibilities would only compromise the safety and well-being of students, therefore a motor coach will arrive home between 12 and 1 p.m. today.”

While it is disappointing for the three dozen students stuck in New York, the 46 band members who did make it down to Florida on the earlier flight Thursday night made the best of the situation, Mr. Clemensen said. But because they are missing so many marching band members, including the entire drum line, students were forced to cancel their performance.

“We are very disappointed,” said Drew Walker, the district’s director of health, physical education and athletics, after stepping off the bus following its return to the school on Friday. “The kids were looking forward to this great, unique experience to walk down Main Street, so I feel for the kids and teachers who put their heart into this magic moment.”

Unlike the first cancellation caused by the weather, Mr. Walker, who was supposed to make the trip as well, explained that it would be difficult to reschedule the trip a second time because more than half the students are unable to get refunds as they were able to make the trip.

The 46 students who made it to Florida, and returned home late Monday night, were able to meet with representatives of the Disney Internship Program do discuss future opportunities and also were introduced to members of the Disney World performing arts team. Students also had the chance to spend time at Disney’s signature parks over the weekend.

“They are talking to the internship program to learn about it and then they are going to the park, so I don’t think they will have a terrible time,” Mr. Clemensen said on Friday. “We did speak to some of the kids and they are disappointed their friends won’t be with them to enjoy the trip and perform.”

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I wonder if this has something to do with grounding the flights from Orlando to NY since the president flew in with the president of China last night...grounding people I know expecting to come home last night. Sympathies to the HB Marching Band- Disney was always an amazing experience with Mrs. Halsey!!!!
By LilOnes21 (21), hampton bays on Apr 7, 17 11:57 AM
Try reading the article again, its right at the end of the second paragraph, "The second flight that was supposed to transport 36 of the students had to be canceled by Delta Airlines because of the lack of a flight crew."

So no, it wasn't Trump's fault, nice try though.
By Preliator Lives (236), Obamavillie on Apr 7, 17 2:18 PM
Shame on you. Think about the kids....It's not politics.....
By unclemilt (51), southampton on Apr 7, 17 7:47 PM
2 members liked this comment
Right....not at all...
And they aren't brought into almost every single comment on this website even when the article has nothing to do with politics either right? You comment to all of those? I don't believe the entire issue was with staffing- go ahead and trust the media, who tells you what they want you to know, and nothing more.....
By LilOnes21 (21), hampton bays on Apr 10, 17 10:42 AM
1 member liked this comment
Mr. Clemensen and Mrs. Halsey worked tirelessly to find a solution that would get the kids in the second group to Orlando. We commend them for their efforts and thank them for everything they've done for their students. HBHS is fortunate to have such dedicated administrators and teachers.
By Philip3 (2), Hampton Bays on Apr 7, 17 1:03 PM
Hope they will be able to have a second chance in performing before the Schools are over.. Please book another airline. Good luck to the band !!!
By Stevens (9), Sagaponack on Apr 7, 17 4:21 PM
Make the most of a poor tumble of the dice.

Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
By Mr. Z (9287), North Sea on Apr 7, 17 7:19 PM
2 members liked this comment
We're paying for high school students to go to Disney World? Or is this not from the school budget? I'm unaware of fundraising outside of school budget for a Florida vacation for teenagers.
By dfree (304), hampton bays on Apr 8, 17 6:35 AM
No, children and parents are responsible for the cost. While attending HBHS candy fundraisers and various other fundraisers were used to help take a burden off.
By Sour09 (18), Hampton Bays on Apr 14, 17 2:08 AM
The school budget does not fund these trips. They are financed by the individual families and through a number of music-related fundraisers/concession stand type activities through the year. The students who participate in those (not all do), end up having their individual cost for the trip defrayed.
By hblc (25), Hampton Bays on Apr 8, 17 7:24 AM
2 members liked this comment
Sorry for the dissapointment for the students who were grounded. But, as usual with their great leadership, they are helping them make the best of the situation.
By Infoseeker (234), Hampton Bays on Apr 8, 17 8:53 AM
Use Southwestern next time. No Delta hijinx and you can leave from Islip.
By btdt (407), water mill on Apr 18, 17 1:30 PM
1 member liked this comment