As a frequent Disney themepark visitor, one of the benefits of not having the pressure to get on every attraction on every visit is that you get to stop and smell the roses for a bit. One of my favorite ways to do that is to take in the visiting music groups. Perhaps a group like the Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences choir. You may have heard of them, they had a viral video on youtube and then made it to the Ellen show and now the Magic Kingdom.
Under the direction of Ms. Angela Kee, the choir has been rehearsing and fundraising since last year. Their goal: to participate in the Disney Performing Arts program, which gives instrumental, vocal and other ensembles the chance to perform at Disney. The choir’s efforts got a big boost when its performance of Pharrell’s hit single, Happy, went viral. Garnering more than 1.5 million views, the video also captured the attention of national media and led to an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. During that appearance, show host Ellen DeGeneres presented the choir with a check for $50,000.
“Mrs. Kee and her students are a great example of how music education opens doors and can transform the lives of young people,” said Tim Hill, Director of Special Programs for Disney Destinations. “As an entertainment company, Disney is passionate about the importance of music education, and Disney Performing Arts gives young people the chance to experience the thrill of performing. They also get a chance to learn about the business of show business. Who knows, we might even see some of Ms. Kee’s students taking on a music career with Disney someday.”
“I am so excited about the opportunity for our choir to perform at Disney.” said Maurice Morton, CEO, Detroit Academy of Arts & Sciences. “They are truly talented, and they enjoy singing about issues that resonate with most people. This will be a magical experience that they will live with for the rest of their lives.”