Submitted by Shannon DeAngelo

BINGHAMTON — Under the direction of Jan and Shannon DeAngelo, 35 students and 20 adults headed to the Big Apple April 23 for a whirlwind of professional Broadway training and Broadway shows.

“The goal of this weekend was educating our student performers,” said Director Jan DeAngelo. “Our students are held to a very high performance standard. Anyone can be in a show, but learning how to be emotionally invested in a role is what makes the audience enjoy and connect with a show.” So what better way to drive home what we teach them? Bring them to the best in the industry and have them teach them!

The weekend started with a stage combat workshop taught by Broadway combat instructor Dan Renkin. He was very impressed with the group’s focus and ability. The group then proceeded down the block to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to see “Finding Neverland.” Immediately following the show, the group had a private talkback with the show’s Kevin Kern and several cast members. They answered questions and presented the group with a poster signed by all cast members.

Sunday started early with Mass, then directly on to our “Les Miserables” Making Music Workshop with Devin Ilaw (currently appearing as Montparnasse in “Les Mis”) and musical director Jason Sirois. The students were coached and sang a medley from “Les Miserables.” Ilaw and Sirois informed the group that it was one of the most outstanding groups they had ever worked with.

Next up was our private master vocal class with Doug Jabara. Impressed with the group’s energy and ability, Jabara coached their current competitive swing number and raised it to a new level.

This amazing weekend finished with watching “Les Miserables” at the Imperial Theater. The revival was spectacular, leaving the students in awe. They were even more excited to receive a private wave from Devin Ilaw during his curtain call.

 Wilson Hettinger, a senior at SCCHS, said, “I loved working with professional actors. It was my favorite trip with the chorus ever!” SCCHS Senior Michaela Farrell said, “This was an experience that we would not have had if it were not for Mr. and Mrs. DeAngelo. They’ve given us opportunities that no one else could and experiences that will last a lifetime.”

The students worked hard to raise all funds for the trip and agree it was worth every bit of it!

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