By Isabel Martin ’20
On Wednesday, April 3, the Gunnery Troubadours went to a choral workshop in New York City with the cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. The group was led by Mrs. Dayton and Ms. Albright, and included John Crabtree ‘19, Aris Wang ‘20, Alex Zhang ‘20, Yolanda Wang ‘21, Drew Sutherland ‘21, Kyra Briggs ‘22 and myself.
When we arrived at the location of the workshop, we joined about a hundred other high school students sitting according to voice part (soprano, alto and baritone). We first heard from Ian Weinberger, the Associate Musical Director of Hamilton.
Weinberger led us in a vocal warm up and helped us finish the Beautiful songs that we had been working on, which included “Wonderful,” “Beautiful,” and “I Feel the Earth Move.” Then Sara Shepherd, the Dance Captain of the musical, taught us the simple dance moves that go with the song “Wonderful.”
Students were invited up to dance as a group as everyone else sang, and from our group, Yolanda went up. Then people went up for solos, including Alex and Aris. We put the whole song together, with select students dancing and singing solos, and everyone else singing in the background.
After we performed for the last time, they brought out a panel of performers from the musical. The panel included TyNia Brandon, Stephanie Martignetti, Nathan Scherich and Ryan Vona, all understudies for Beautiful. They talked about how they had come to work with Beautiful and other musicals, and we were able to ask questions about the musical audition world. After the panel, two of the men performed a song from Beautiful, and then we headed to the Sondheim Theatre to see the musical.
Being in a space with many other passionate high school students was fascinating and empowering, and it was a great experience to be able to meet and hear from people involved with Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.