- Public Schools of the Tarrytowns
Tarrytown Music Hall To Follow the Yellow Brick Road Back to Washington Irving
The Tarrytown Music Hall is back at Washington Irving late this fall with a new residency: The Wizard of Oz. Over fifty WI students in grades 3rd-5th had the opportunity to participate in the two-week program with the beloved theater production. Under the direction of TMH Academy Director Kevin J Kearins, this is the 5th residency TMH is offering the WI students and is part of the nonprofit Music Hall Academy’s educational and program initiative.
Registration for The Wizard of Oz opened on Tuesday, October 11 and filled up in 30 minutes. TMH expanded the cast to allow for additional students on the waitlist. The program will include bi-lingual creative team members and run from November 1-17, culminating in performances on November 17 at the Music Hall - a school assembly for Washington Irving students at 12:30pm and a public performance at 7:00pm. This delightful stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s beloved tale features the iconic musical score from the MGM film. The timeless story in which young Dorothy Gale travels from Kansas over the rainbow to the magical Land of Oz continues to thrill audiences worldwide.
Committed to providing children and youth with access to the performing arts, the TMH Academy brings in everything needed to create a comprehensive theater experience for the students: live professional piano accompaniment, sets, props, costumes, and most importantly, program instruction provided by three different directors working with the students on music, dance and the script. The Music Hall covers all of the costs associated with the musical production gratis to Washington Irving students.
In the spring of 2022, the Academy presented a production of Aladdin at Washington Irving School and it was the first time since the pandemic that students and parents were together again in the auditorium. The production included a small crew team and these students were treated to a trip to the TMH for a behind the scenes tour.
The Music Hall Academy’s philosophy is that the arts are an irreplaceable tool for personal growth, a gift that keeps giving throughout people's lives. For the Music Hall, the journey is the goal, every lesson and every rehearsal an exploration and an adventure. The performance is the ‘cherry on top’ at the end of the process. In addition to musicality, coordination, creativity and mental gymnastics, the students learn focus, socialization, self-worth, confidence and teamwork.
The learning experience extends to the entire population of the school as students from all three grades are invited to attend an assembly at The Music Hall and see their classmates perform in advance of the evening public performance. For a vast majority of students, participation as a cast, crew or audience member is their first involvement with theater.
“Seeing the students grow, become more confident, laugh and form friendships is heartwarming,” said Karina E Ringeisen, TMH’s Theatre Manager. “Theater is a life experience and brings people together.”
The Academy offers programs year-round: Music Lessons (cello, guitar, harp, mandolin, violin), Classes (Aerial Silks, Mythology Playwriting, Shakespeare, classes), Master classes with Broadway performers, Theatre camps like Mary Poppins this coming July, Theater Vacation Camps during winter and spring breaks and Youth Theater Productions (13: The Musical & High School Musical 2 are next.) The Addams Family is presently on stage – the Juniors (grades 3-6) performed on October 20 and the Teens (grades 7-12) will take over the stage on October 25 and 27.
The Academy students (including those who participate in residencies) are considered Academy Members and are invited to participate in Academy group activities such as The Tarrytown Halloween Parade, The Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Academy Fundraiser (where students will have the opportunity to perform with Broadway performers), free acting and audition master classes, a trip to a Broadway show and more.
The Music Hall is also host to several school shows by such acclaimed companies as The Paper Bag Players, TheatreworksUSA and Hispanic Flamenco Ballet. “When children arrive by bus at the Music Hall, some of them think they are going to see a movie. Instead, the doors of live theater are opened to them,” says Ringeisen.
Information about residencies and other Academy educational programs is available on The Music Hall’s website at tarrytownmusichall.org/the-academy