|Young Americans rock the house at HHS concert|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
Around 150 area students came alive on stage Tuesday night, Oct. 2 when they performed with the Young Americans during their 2012 International Music Outreach Tour. The line of parents, family and friends stretched outside the door and down the street, and the HHS auditorium was overflowing at the high-energy concert.
Most of the grade 4-12 students who participated in the three-day music workshop were from Holyoke, but others were from Haxtun and Julesburg. They worked with the college-age Young Americans on singing, dancing, theater and much more.
Eighth-grader Norman Mendoza got the party started Tuesday night when performers erupted with
A Young American performer, pictured in center, encourages local students as they sing and dance
Holyoke band teacher Mitsuko Martinez said besides the music aspect, the Young Americans really help build self-esteem and self-confidence in the students, which built on the Challenge Day experience they went through earlier in the school year.
“They were pulling kids out of their comfort zone in a very empowering way,” she said.
Students commented the program inspired them to do more with their lives, and their interaction with the Young Americans helped them get through personal problems.
“It was a really positive experience for the students,” said Martinez, noting how the music workshop rejuvenated the music program in Holyoke.
HHS sophomore Brandon Struckmeyer stretches his muscles during
Jordan Brophy, pictured in center, is a Young American from Wray
The first half of Tuesday’s performance featured the Young Americans, with the local students joining in for the second half. Everything from Disney songs and Broadway theater to rock’n’roll and comedy sketches got the kids and the audience pumped about music and the arts.
Two familiar faces, Jordan Brophy and Deann Sullivan, were part of the cast of the Young Americans. The two girls from Wray auditioned when the Young Americans came to Holyoke in February 2010, and now they are on tour themselves, inspiring kids to pursue music.
Martinez expressed much gratitude toward the Holyoke Music Parents Association for paying half of the workshop cost for the Holyoke students. Many local families also opened their homes to host the Young American kids during their stay in Holyoke.
It’s another day on the slopes as local students Marques Harvey and Luke Stewart, pictured at left and center, work with the Young Americans on a comedy skiing routine.
Holyoke Enterprise October 11, 2012