Local middle school and high school students took to the stage with the Young Americans traveling show choir after a three day workshop that is meant to benefit the students and school alike.

“We have several goals,” said Bruce Sampson, Associate Director of the Young Americans. ” One is to actually help support the music programs here at this school, but more its about strengthening the kids themselves by building their character and their self confidence and opening them up to new possibilities.”

The Young Americans musical outreach program started in 1992 to support music programs. The movement has gained momentum in recent years thanks to one of the most popular shows on television: Glee.

“The whole Glee phenomenon definitely adds to the energy and people get interested in this performance.” said Nick Janssen, vocal director at Naperville North High School. ” I would say the majority of our students are Gleeks including the Young Americans.”

Feeding off the popularity of such productions as Glee, the Young Americans travel the country teaching young students singing, acting, and dancing. The students learn, rehearse, and perform and entire show all in three days, but these Gleeks in training know they have plenty of help along the way.

“At first it is a little scary, but then we we get used to it and I know if i mess up i’ll be ok,” said Isabela Dehlmow, one of the students participating.

The work may be hard, but the ending performance makes it all worth while.

“At the end of the show you see their faces and knowing that they did it, that they really accomplished something, that makes it all worth while,” said something Sampson.

The Young Americans travel the country for a three months and perform two workshops a week for middle and high school students.


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