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By: Maria Kashapata
Carnegie Hall and our trip to New York City was an experience I’ll never forget. We arrived in New York City on Tuesday evening and we couldn’t contain our excitement. New York city has an energy that is contagious to anyone who visits. If I could describe it in two words I would say magical and electric.
The next day we went to The Dwight School. When we arrived we got to interact with all of the students from the other schools. We were able to talk with them and compare our schools, activities, hobbies, interests,etc… It was amazing getting to learn about different cultures and parts of the world. There were kids from Seoul, Shanghai, London, New York and students from the open world program. I made friends with kids right off the bat. We were all there to experience performing at Carnegie Hall together and we were all very excited. After mingling we got to experience a day in the life of a Dwight New York student. We were able to experience the classes, see the school and interact with the students. I was able to sit in on the Drama class, Mathematics class and Government class. I enjoyed getting to talk with the students and learn about their lives while experiencing the classes. I even got to meet one of my online teachers. Then it was time to go to rehearsals at the nearby church.
They say , “The way to get to Carnegie Hall is Practice! Practice! Practice!” and that we did. We had rehearsals everyday leading up to Carnegie Hall. During rehearsals we were split up based on our performances. I spent most of my time rehearsing with the chorus. The chorus was made up of kids from each of the schools. Together we practiced to learn the Abba Medley. I also spent time practicing our duet, Human. We spent time putting the final touches on our performance to ensure it was our best. It was so cool getting to watch all of the other schools performances that they had been working on as well. Each performance was a representation of their school and culture. During rehearsals we had an hour lunch break. We were encouraged to go out with kids we didn’t know and interact. Throughout the time we were there they made sure we had plenty of time and opportunities to get to know each other. Rehearsals were fun and busy. We were constantly working to make sure everything ran smoothly for show day.
Outside of rehearsals we were able to do a lot of fun activities. We had a lot of free time and wanted to explore NYC. One of the first places we visited was Central Park. It had snowed and the park was breathtaking in a white winter wonderland. You would have never believed you were in the middle of a city. We visited Time Square and got a tour of The Museum of Natural History. We also attended the Blue Man Show. It was an indescribable experience. An unforgettable show with a surprise at every turn. The city is full of so many exciting activities. Then it was time for our own show.
The day of our performance at Carnegie Hall nerves were running high. However at the same time we were all very pumped and excited for what was to come. We went straight to Carnegie Hall and had our final dress rehearsal. It was all starting to kick in that this was actually happening. Everything was very hectic backstage. People were running around, warming up, getting changed, the audience was taking their seats and then the show began. The acts that went before us were great and then it was our turn. I was very nervous, but realized I wasn’t in this alone. As I was backstage with Andrea, Nia, Josh and Victoria I realized we were in this together and had each other to lean on. The announcer presented us and it was showtime. The music started and I begun to sing. I felt like I was in a dream, was this really happening? I let the music carry me through every note and having Andrea by my side I knew we were in this together and we worked really hard to make this happen. As we finished the crowd applauded and it was the best feeling in the entire world. We took our bows and walked off the stage. Coming off stage was an amazing feeling, I was so proud of us all. Once I got off stage I wanted to go right back on and do it again.
I was also a part of the chorus, so I went back on stage once more for the finale. I got to perform alongside all of these people who had become my friends and finish on a strong note. Everyone worked so hard to put this show together. The teachers ensured everything ran smoothly. The dancers complimented each piece beautifully. The filmmakers documented an amazing experience for us to be able to look back on. The musicians provided amazing music to accompany all of the pieces. The singers sung their hearts out on every note. Together we put on an amazing show. All of our hard work had paid off. My experience at Carnegie Hall was full of excitement, new adventures, new friends and wonderful memories.. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience I will never forget.
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