Editor In Chief
For the 16th year in a row, San Marcos’s own Madcappella Choir, A Cappella Choir and Madrigal Singers, have been selected to take part in Disneyland’s Candlelight Ceremony. Because Madcappella are Candlelight veterans, the ten songs they have to learn and the hours of commitment put in is nothing out of the norm. However, with backstage passes to Disney goings on, every year we perform, there come new surprises about behind the scenes Disney.
The Disneyland Candlelight Ceremony is a performance including both classic Christmas carols as well as the reading of the birth of Jesus. Every year, Disneyland chooses a celebrity guest, normally one that has done a movie with them recently.
One of most exciting aspects of being part of the Candlelight Ceremony is that attendees are legally employed by Disneyland. That is a rewarding feeling enough on its own, but getting the backstage experience is beyond enlightening. As official cast members, students are required to enter through the cast entrance where they are checked in by Disney employees. If you are not on the massive list, even if your fellow choir members vouch for you and have been practicing the music for months, you are not allowed in. We are then ushered to a rack where we are fitted for robes used in the performance then sent to the rehearsal area, also known as the Space Mountain Theater.
However, no matter how magical being backstage is, there is still something artificial about the experience. As members of the choir, though we played a pivotal role in the ceremony itself, members of the choir are still shielded from behind the scenes disney. “Cast members,” regular employees of Disney, remain unrealistically kind. They may have good intentions at heart, in hopes of making the choir members feel welcome and comfortable, but nothing about the process seems natural.
“Performing in the Candlelight Ceremony is an insane amount of really hard work, especially how picky TB can be,” said junior Brenna Yager. “But it is definitely worth the time and effort because not only is the performance amazing but also is the experience itself.”
Yet in the eyes of many, Disneyland is not intended to be natural, it is a fantasy, a life separate from reality. Even if the backstage life lacks in the chaos that would be expected in behind-closed-doors Disney, there is no denying the appreciation everyone who participated in the event felt for the organizational capabilities of the Disneyland staff.