Broadway comes to Skyline High School

‘Hamilton’ assistant music director and wife, a professional actor, lead a workshop for choir and theater students

The Skyline Theater stage filled with eager music and theater students Tuesday as Peter VanReesema,  Assistant Music Director of the hit musical Hamilton, and his wife Rosie, a professional actor—led a workshop with choir and theater students.

VanReesema has local ties to the community, growing up in nearby Chelsea. He reached out to longtime friend and Skyline’s Director of Vocal Music Lyn CieChanski and offered to come talk to her students.

During the workshop, the VanReesemas taught the students part of a song from Hamilton—”Wait for It” by Lin-Manuel Miranda. They offered a glimpse into life as professional musicians during a Q&A session, answering questions about how they got their start and offering advice to the aspiring high school performers.

The VanReesemas later said they were impressed by the students’ talent and passion.

“Rosie and I both agreed that this is one of the most talented groups of high schoolers we’ve had the opportunity to work with,” said Peter VanReesema. “They were all so willing to dive into the material and there were enough leaders in each vocal section to really lift the group as a whole.”

He said there is clearly a supportive community at Skyline that is fostering a love for the arts, and that it shows in the talent level of the students.

“We were extremely impressed by how many clubs and performance opportunities there were for the students,” he said. “For a while now I’ve known of the culture that Ms. CieChanski has been cultivating and wanted the opportunity to expand on her support network for the students. Rosie and I both had a handful of very influential mentors who opened our eyes to the possibility of working as an artist and it means a great deal to us to begin to be that for the next generation.”

He said that if students have any questions, or would like to take an informational interview with someone in the field they’re curious about, they would love to be a liaison between them and professionals in the industry.  

 “We’d love to come back and teach again if there is ever an opportunity to do so.”

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