CPHS Choir Takes New York


The view choir students were treated to at the Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock.

Carlie Morgan, Reporter

After successfully conquering the UIL season, Cedar Park High School’s collective choir classes decided a bit of fun was in order. Only a day after each choir achieved the highest UIL score possible, around 40 choir students packed up their bags and headed off for a five day trip to New York City. Each day of the trip promised a plethora of different activities guaranteeing each student would get the full New York experience.

April 20, day one of the trip, consisted of airports, airports, and more airports. The group of students were divided in two and sent off on separate planes, each with their own set of chaperones. Delays and turbulence were abound on each flight, but these necessary evils were unavoidable as any kind of traveling with any amount of high school students is bound to be a challenge. Between rushing from terminal to terminal, the choir students still found time to review their upcoming week of activities with excitement and anticipation and update their snapchat stories accordingly. Once safe in New York, the students set out for their first taste of the legendary New York pizza and then settled down to await the next day.

April 21, the first official day in New York, the students woke bright and early. Armed with their newly acquired Metro Cards, they took to the subway, many students first experience with the metal beasts below New York. Somehow, every student made it through this trial and arrived on the very stone steps where Ben Stiller stood during the first Night at the Museum film. The American Museum of Natural History was on the schedule first and the students didn’t hesitate to explore everything the famous museum had to offer. From dinosaurs to gemstones to the birds of america exhibit, there was no shortage of history to explore. Despite a significant lack of wax sculptures of Teddy Roosevelt, the students exited the museum with great delight, having experienced a wide range of exhibits.

Next on the New York City bucket-list was Central Park, a movie star in its own right. The students walked through, taking more than their fair share of instagram worthy photos and marveling at the scenery. Under the arches behind Bethesda fountain, the choir students treated the locals to an impromptu performance of “Celtic Blessing”, a song sung by new and old members at every choir concert. After a smattering of applause, the group moved on to the Rockefeller Center for a view from the Top of the Rock. Sadly, the day was deemed too cloudy and the spectacular view was rescheduled for a different day.

After a brief shopping session, the students made their way to Ellen’s Stardust Diner where they were treated to dinner and a show. This diner was home to no ordinary waiters; if they weren’t busy serving food and taking drink orders, they were singing anything from show tunes to Smashmouth, interacting with the crowd at every possible moment. It seemed impossible to beat this spectacular experience, but the day of excitement wasn’t over yet. Soon after leaving Ellen’s, the students piled onto The Ride, an interactive tour bus experience involving a glass paneled wall, music and street performers. With all the happenings of the day, the students were more than happy to turn in for the night.

April 22, day three of the trip, was affectionately deemed “show day” by the students as the day promised a trip to see “Rigoletto” at the Metropolitan Opera and the opportunity to see “Waitress”, Sara Bareilles’s broadway musical, featuring the star herself. Again the students grabbed their metrocards and made their way to Grand Central Station. From here the group split in two to explore Chinatown and Little Italy. Some students had the opportunity to experience Lombardi’s, America’s first pizzeria, whose truly amazing food proved there is really no pizza like New York pizza. After a brief reconvening, the students once again split into two groups, one heading for the Statue of Liberty for a gorgeous view of our nation’s favorite statue, the other literally running to the Brook Atkinson Theatre for “Waitress”, an experience this group will not soon forget. Between heart-wrenching ballads and comedic performances, mini pies were bought and tears were shed as this group experienced this new musical. The night was rounded out with the Metropolitan Opera’s performance of “Rigoletto”, which, in this reporter’s humble opinion, might be for a more mature and awake audience. Nevertheless, those that didn’t spend this time napping, thought it was a beautiful and touching performance.

April 23, day four in New York, and the last full day of activities began much like the others, with a metro card that is. The New York subway system dropped the students at their newest destination, a professional broadway studio in which actors learn their fancy dances and songs. The group was treated to a class in which they learned the finale to “Aladdin the Musical” which they would be seeing shortly after. The singing portion of the class was an obvious favorite among the students, whereas the collective dancing skills were a bit lacking. What can you expect from a choir? After their singing and dancing experience, the students took a tour of the New Amsterdam theatre where they would be seeing “Aladdin” (performed by professionals thankfully) and then satiated their appetites in Times Square which gave yet another opportunity to spend money on souvenirs.

It wasn’t long before the students found themselves in their seats for the last musical of the trip. Though the show was intended for a younger audience, it did not fail to disappoint with truly dazzling sets and amazing performances. The actor playing the Genie proved to be a crowd favorite and brought the entire show to a new level. His crazy antics remained a topic of conversation at Carmine’s, the group’s dinner for the day. Carmine’s Italian Restaurant is a New York favorite and could not have been a better time for these students. Jokes were shared, pasta was devoured and a dessert appropriately deemed “The Titanic” was marveled at. All in all, this experience perfectly rounded out the fun of the last few days and gave the students a chance to reminisce on all that had happened.

April 24, the last day of the trip, ended much as it began, consisting mostly of airports and everything that goes with them. However, before the students left, they took a trip to the 911 Memorial and Museum for a deeply impactful experience. The museum, complete with accounts of those who had died and relics from that fateful day, left a lasting mark on the students as they explored its halls. It provided for a memorable end to an amazing trip, reminding the students that life should be treasured and lived to the fullest as long as we are able to live it.

After this unparalleled experience, the students said goodbye to New York, leaving the city behind with new memories, new friends, and more than a few souvenirs.