3 Things That Make a Great Harbor Day School Musical
By Yunga Webb
It’s that time of year again where the eighth grade students are learning music, practicing choreography, and running lines from their script. The Eighth Grade Musical is the largest and most collaborative project that the music department produces. Each year, the graduating class looks forward to the first day of school when they find out what their show will be. They anticipate the day of auditions, where each student stands up in front of each other and shows off their skills in hopes to land their dream role. However, nothing compares to the first time they get to perform for the school community. After months of rehearsals, they finally get the chance to look out into the crowd to see all the teachers they have had since Kindergarten and all the members of their Harbor Day family. This is their moment to shine!
1. A Show that Fits Choosing the right show for the right group of students is half the battle. In Upper School music class, students participate in performance projects where they get the chance to showcase their talents and performance strengths in the fifth, sixth, and seventh grade, which allows Ms. Webb to access the talents of a particular grade. For example, if a class has several strong dancers in their group, shows such as Footloose or High School Musical will be a great fit. For a strong vocal class, productions like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat would be a great option. For a solid class of actors, Shrek and Into the Woods showcase the many talents of a particular class.
2. Everyone Gets Involved The Eighth Grade Musical is a massive class project and everyone plays a part in some way, whether on stage or behind the scenes. Everyone has a job to do and a role to play. We have created leadership roles such as Director's and Tech Director's Assistants, Dance Captains, Costume Coordinators and Prop Masters. These students lead the charge in helping the adults create an incredible production, but ultimately the class takes full ownership of their show.
3. The Bells and Whistles In addition to a well-rehearsed show with talented performers, we add all the bells and whistles which sets us apart from other middle school productions. Fabulous costumes, props, set design, hair and makeup, lighting and sound special effects, as well as a Broadway-style program, are the icing on the cake. Students are in charge of leading the various aspects of the production behind the scenes, and many find a newfound passion while doing so.
_______________________ About the Author: Ms. Webb has been working at Harbor Day School since 2014. She has her Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Brigham Young University and Masters in Education: Curriculum and Instruction from University of Phoenix. She has spent most of her life working in various aspects of the performing arts as a performer and as a teacher. Her teaching experience spans from elementary students to high school students to professional talent on Nickelodeon. Prior to coming to Harbor Day, Mrs. Webb worked at the Orange County School of the Arts as a vocal performance teacher, and at the Imagine Wesley International Academy in Atlanta Georgia as a Musical Theater Instructor. As a performer, she has traveled the world and as an educator, she has directed musicals and choirs receiving national recognition. Her passion for music derives from her family of two parents and seven siblings who are all professionals in the music industry.