WY Band and Dance Students Take a Field Trip to See Hamilton


Nicholas Bussey

Crowd outside CIBC Theater 10/17/18

Nicholas Bussey

On October 17th, students from the Whitney Young band and dance departments took a field trip in the middle of the day to see Hamilton, a musical 8 years in the making. Through a group travel company that had extra tickets, the students, most of whom had not seen it before, were “not givin’ away their shot” to experience the iconic musical first hand at a discounted price. Sui Lin Tam ‘19, who “chose to go because [she] loves musicals [and this one] was hyped up to be awesome,” gave a positive review of the show, exclaiming that “the music, choreography, and the plot were great!” Overall, people really enjoyed it and enjoyed spending time together downtown.

The CIBC theater, unlike Symphony Center, has a more vertically compressed layout, where the view from the back of the Mezzanine is obstructed by the bottom of the Balcony which makes the main stage fully visible, but the stage’s second level is out of view. Students enjoyed Balcony seats, which, contrary to what one would think, provide a better experience than the closer seats. After seeing Hamilton once before with a different vantage point, band teacher Mr. Barbick related that “[he] loved it more than the last time,” and that “being able to see all the choreography from above was great… the sound was great in the balcony [as well].”

Band students learned about the importance of colorful chord tones in music, as well as the function of a conductor, who is constantly watching the stage while playing keyboard and conducting the musicians under the stage.

The magic of Hamilton is its relevance today in the current political climate, a time where “people might want to be more in tune with the country’s history,” according to Paola Saldana ‘20. Hamilton uses hip hop music strategically to translate the late 1700s into an engaging art form. Because of Alexander Hamilton’s upbringing on a Caribbean island that was struck by a hurricane and the current post-hurricane state of Puerto Rico, the next step in Hamilton’s journey is the move to Puerto Rico to put on performances there in support of hurricane relief efforts.