• Mary Harrison

CHS Musical Theatre students given grant, can attend 'Hamilton' for $10



On Monday, January 13, Cairo High School Theatre teacher Ms. Landrie Bock and CHS Dance instructor Mrs. Hannah Russell announced a time-sensitive opportunity: up to 40 theatre, dance, and chorus students from CHS will get to attend a performance of "Hamilton, An American Musical" at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta – for $10 per ticket.


According to Ms. Bock, the Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History has given Cairo High’s musical theatre program a grant to participate in their Hamilton Education Program (HEP).


The total cost to students is $75, which includes transportation, a hotel room, and lunch in Atlanta, but to secure your spot in program only $10 must be paid by Tuesday, January 21, to Ms. Bock, Mrs. Russell, or CHS choral teacher Ms. Erikka Edwards.


Only 40 tickets were awarded CHS, so students need to reserve their spots quickly. A waiting list will be created to replace anyone who is dropped from the program.


The Hamilton Education Program begins this spring with three curriculum days about the Founding Era; it will culminate on Friday, May 1, 2020, at the Fox in Atlanta, where participants will watch select students perform original pieces on the Founding Era, ask questions of the "Hamilton" cast, and attend a matinee performance of "Hamilton."


To participate in the program, you must be enrolled in Cairo High School (no parents or siblings allowed) and currently active in the CHS musical theatre program, meaning Chorus, Theatre (both actors and technical crew), and/or the R&B Dance Team. Students must also be in good standing with their Theatre, Chorus, and Dance directors.


Participants are required to attend three classes about the founding of the U.S., beginning on Fridays January 17, January 21, and February 7; create and submit a project based on the material by March 27; and commit to the Atlanta trip on Thursday, April 30 and Friday, May 1.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute (logo above) has hosted the Hamilton Education Program since October of 2015, according to the HEP's website.

Ms. Bock stressed that all the above activities are MANDATORY, and if anyone cannot make one of these dates or misses the project deadline, they will be DROPPED from the program and will NOT receive a discounted "Hamilton" ticket.


Gilder Lehrman’s classes on what it dubs the “Founding Era” will be presented by Ms. Bock from 4-6 p.m. in the CHS auditorium on the given Fridays. The material will consist of “student and teacher guides for classroom use and an exclusive website featuring primary sources and videos to facilitate student research,” HEP’s official website states.


“Among the videos are clips from Hamilton and interviews with Lin-Manuel Miranda, selected cast members, and Ron Chernow, whose biography Alexander Hamilton inspired the musical.”


Then, using what they have learned about America’s beginning through “printed materials, the Hamilton Education Program Website, and classroom instruction,” the trip’s FAQ sheet states, “each student is expected to create and submit an original performance piece, a maximum of 2 minutes in length.” Ms. Bock, Mrs. Russell, and Ms. Edwards will choose an original piece by Cairo High School students for consideration to be performed in Atlanta.


As dictated by the Gilder Lehrman Institute, anyone who fails to enter his or her project by 11:59 p.m. on March 27 will not be allowed to attend the "Hamilton" performance.


In order to complete the program, students must:

  • maintain a minimum 2.5 unweighted GPA,

  • receive no major discipline referrals,

  • meet all paperwork and project deadlines,

  • exemplify the MAKER Matrix

  • and maintain overall positive, model-student behavior.


Ms. Bock urges all CHS students involved in musical theatre at the high school to “take advantage of this huge opportunity afforded us by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the Rockefeller Foundation.”


Update: As of January 17, the first curriculum day was postponed until January 31; there will still be three classes, with the 3rd date TBA. Stay tuned to The Red & Black for future developments!


#CHS #finearts #musicaltheatre #grant #Hamilton