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The Big Apple Broadens Student Horizons

Blue Belles and Band Travel to NYC to Embark on Artistic Endeavors

Jade Hebbert, Staff Writer

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In the midst of Storm Stella, while students in Texas savored their all too short spring break, the senior members of the Belles and the Roo Band embarked on their own adventures to the snow covered streets of New York City. Embracing the urban lifestyle, the students enhanced their performing skills while learning about what it takes to make it in the ‘City that Never Sleeps.’

After seeing the show “Chicago,” the Belles were Broadway bound and wanted to learn a piece of Broadway for themselves.The girls journeyed to a Broadway Performing Arts Studio to an exclusive dance class taught by a Wicked cast member.

“Learning from the Broadway actress allowed her to share her experiences with us when it comes to performing at a professional level,” senior, Jade Dunn said. “Although it seems as if it is a strict job, she explained to us that having fun and being yourself is what it’s all about. That’s what I really took from it, because performing to me is about going out there and being yourself and having fun under the spotlight.”

Meanwhile, the band was also enjoying their trip in the Big Apple and preparing for their own performance. In the simplistically elegant Carnegie Hall, more than 46,000 events have occurred since it’s opening in 1891, and the Fightin’ Roo Band was ready to take the stage for themselves.

“Performing at Carnegie Hall was a very nice experience. The hall was very resonant which posed a few interesting challenges in terms of balancing the whole ensemble,” sophomore, Sam Shaw said. “It really helped me understand the joy of playing with others in an ensemble setting, especially with many other talented musicians. Everyone played well and it was an experience I’ll remember. ”

The Belles also continued to enjoy the magic of New York City, visiting Central Park, the 9/11 memorial,the Rockefeller skating rink as well as so many more while they continued to grow even closer to their “senior sisters.”

“The trip made me realize that I was actually a senior this year and that I couldn’t just give up and I had to finish strong. With that being said, it allowed me to have more confidence than before,” senior, Aquimini Jackson said. “To conclude the trip was a phenomenal experience. I have my directors, my parents, my chaperones, my senior sisters, and last but certainly not least my amazing tour guide.”

Although the subways run underneath the cities connecting the upper east side Manhattan to Queens, music is also embedded in the veins of the city.

“It was crazy how talented some of the street performers were,” senior, Jacob Eader said. “It was inspiring that these people took their talents and found ways to put a unique twist and personality on what they were playing compared to a big band setting… I felt driven to find my own style of playing and implement it whenever I can.”

Many members of the band shared this connection to their passion.

“My favorite part wasn’t seeing anything in particular or doing anything,” Shaw said. “It was the overall experience that was particularly rewarding. The bonding with others over what we care about most: music.”

For the band, their trip would be extended by a cancelled flight due to Storm Stella Blizzard that swept through the city, giving them an extra three days to explore the frigid and always bustling city.

“My favorite part of the trip was one of the days after a snowstorm kept us from flying home,” Eader said. “There was nothing planned for the day because we were supposed to have already left. So, we spent most of the day riding the subway going different places. That day felt more like an authentic New York Experience than the tourist attractions we had been going to and it was fun just kind of improvising that day.”

For actors, musicians, dancers, and entertainers, New York City is the city of possibility where dreams can become a reality. Whether it’s in the snow covered streets of Time Square, or underneath the bright lights of Broadway, or on the stage where musicians can share their love of music, the magic of the Empire City continues to beckon performers and audiences alike.

“I will definitely be returning to New York City because there is just something about it that encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone and to be yourself no matter what others think,” Dunn said. “Being surrounded by so many amazing things and amazing people really does have an influence on you and it tells you that no dream of yours is too big to accomplish.”

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The Big Apple Broadens Student Horizons