To kickoff the start of summer, twenty six Loyola Academy choir students traveled to New York where they spent a fun-filled weekend experiencing the sights and sounds of the city and bonding as a choir family.
The trip was led by Director of Choirs Mr. Matthew Begale, who wanted to provide his students with a unique opportunity to experience the culture of the city. “The trip was about learning, collaboration and building a team,” he says.
Some highlights of the trip included a visit to the the world-famous Times Square, the Oculus Station, the Empire State Building and Central Park. The group enjoyed a cruise around Ellis Island, Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 performed by the New York Philharmonic at the Lincoln Center and a performance of Waitress The Musical. Before the curtain went up at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, students had the opportunity to meet with Waitress castmember Kayla Davion Robertson, who shared her experiences on broadway and offered students important advice.
“Ms. Robertson discussed the idea of community,” says Elizabeth Balentine ’19. ”She talked about how being on broadway has this family vibe. Everyone helps each other out and works hard.”
The group took a moment out of their packed agenda to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, where they prayed for victims and families. Together they sang “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” in honor Michael P. Lunden ’82, who passed away in the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
On Sunday, students led worshippers in song at St. Malachy’s Church. Known as The Actor’s Chapel, the church was founded in the early twentieth century and has served the theater community in New York for nearly one hundred years.
“One of the best parts of the trip was getting to sing with the group at this beautiful church,” says Mary Clare Daly ’20. “The people there were so nice and welcoming. It was an honor to sing in such a wonderful church in the city.”