Budding theater stars from Lanarkshire took a bite out of the Big Apple recently – by wowing locals with an impromptu flashmob in New York’s famed Grand Central station.
Youngsters from the Theater School of Scotland, based in Glasgow, had been invited Stateside to celebrate Tartan Day, which this year was kicked off by Guardians of the Galaxy and Jumanji star Karen Gillan.
The students had come to the attention of organizers thanks to a performance of Sunshine of Leith they released during lockdown that went viral.
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Around 70 members of the theater school, as well as parents and guardians, then jetted off to spend a few days in New York, where they enjoyed the Tartan Day celebrations, took in workshops on Broadway and performed where ever they could.
Among the group was Cambuslang girl Rachel Barbosa, 12. Her mum Marie said the trip was an amazing experience.
A buzzing Marie told Lanarkshire Live: “It was just fantastic – all the students were so professional and had a brilliant time.
“Rachel’s been going there for about three and a half years. She’s always loved singing, she was always keen on doing karaoke on holiday, and she just loves being part of the theater school.
“We managed to do a few things like the Rockefeller Center and the Statue of Liberty, but they were working their socks off when out there, from loads of acting and dance workshops to a ceilidh and the actual parade itself, where they saw Karen Gillan .
“The Grand Central performance was amazing to see. All the mums were in tears every time they performed.”
As well as the Trinity High pupil, also on the trip was Rachel’s pal Emilie Jamieson, and her mum Lynette agreed that the Grand Central showcase, where the students sang the likes of Flower of Scotland and Caledonia to a rousing reaction, was an amazing highlight .
Lynette said: “They all worked so hard – they were up from six in the morning till 10 or 11 at night, walking and performing all the time. Emilie loved it though, especially the Broadway workshops.
“Seeing them at Grand Central station, where the sound was phenomenal, felt really special, and to be part of the parade was brilliant. Emilie felt like a celeb waving to everyone as she took part in it, and the Americans all loved the kids I think we’re all still on a high!”
Amie McMurray, 15, was another Lanarkshire student who took part in the trip.
The 15-year-old’s mum Wendy said the Hamilton teenager was over the moon at how it had all gone.
She enthused: “Amie’s been with them for two and a half years. She loves Broadway musicals and although she’d been with various theater groups she wanted something a bit more musical.
“The flashmob was completely unplanned, it was just them going for it and getting a crazy reaction. I don’t think she’s come down from the trip yet and I’m not sure they totally understand how special the reaction they got was, to get cheers that were that widespread.
“I’m just trying to get her to focus on her exams again now!”
Reece Donnelly, the founder and principal at the school, said: “‘I am totally and utterly blown away with the success of TSOS X NYC. The trip all started off the back of one of our social media videos going viral and we were invited our by Kyle, the president of NYC Tartan week.
“It’s been a year of rehearsals, fundraising, costume fittings and it was worth every minute. I honestly believe we are so lucky to have the best students, parents and teaching team in the world who made this trip possible. I can’t believe how well the kids reacted to 6am starts and 11pm finishes, they are true professionals and I am so proud of them.”
The theater school have already been asked back for the 2023 celebrations.
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