The Gunnery Troubadours, the musical ensemble on campus, participated in a Broadway musical workshop for high school students on April 3 led by Ian Weinberger, the Associate Musical Director of “Hamilton” on Broadway, and Sara Sheperd, who played Genie Klein in “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” and is the show’s dance captain.
Troubadours Kyra Briggs ’22, John Crabtree ’19, Isabel Martin ’20, Travis Powell ’20, Drew Sutherland ’21, Aris Wang ’20 and Yolanda Wang ’21 as well Alex Zhang ’20 from the cast of “Young Frankenstein” were accompanied on the trip by Elizabeth Dayton ’08, Director of Dramatic Arts, and World Languages faculty member Sarah Albright, producer of the fall play and winter musical.
In preparation for the workshop, the students rehearsed a medley of songs from “Beautiful” on campus, which they performed in New York with students from other high schools. All of the students were coached by Weinberger and a small group of volunteers, including Yolanda Wang, Aris Wang and Alex Zhang, were selected to sing on stage and learn choreography from the show from Shepherd. During a panel discussion, students had the chance to hear from additional cast members from “Beautiful,” including Tynia Brandon, Stephanie Martignetti, Nathan Scherich and Ryan Vona, who answered questions about their training and experience, and what it is like to have a Broadway career.
After the workshop, the group enjoyed lunch at Tony’s DiNapoli, a family-style Italian restaurant, and attended a matinee of the Grammy Award-winning “Beautiful” at the Stephen Sondheim Theater.
Students and faculty enjoyed a beautiful spring afternoon in the city, which was a nice treat after all of their hard work through the winter term on “Young Frankenstein.” The field trip is a tradition for the Troubadours, who visited Broadway in 2017 to participate in a workshop with cast members from “School of Rock: the Musical,” and previously worked with cast members from “Phantom of the Opera,” “Wicked” and “Jersey Boys.”
Founded in 1850 by abolitionist, educator, and outdoorsman Frederick Gunn, The Gunnery is a coeducational college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12/post-graduate. Dedicated teacher-mentor-coaches challenge students to reach their full potential in a home-like setting where character and citizenship are valued as much as intellect and achievement. Individualized attention and high expectations help young learners develop not only the skills and confidence they will need in college, but also the moral compass and love of learning that will serve them well in life. The school attracts ambitious, academically curious students who will both shine as unique individuals and thrive as contributing members of a deeply connected community. By the time they graduate, Gunnery students have become well rounded, grounded young adults with a sharpened sense of who they are and who they want to become.