What’s Right with Schools: Neighborhood Music Program

Whats Right With Schools

(WTNH) — There’s a spelling bee happening this summer in New Haven.

However, it’s not an academic competition…it’s a theater performance. The summer program at the Neighborhood Music Program is full swing.

Stephen Dest has been the director and founder of the theater department for twenty years now.

“The program ranges in ages six to sixteen. This production of spelling bee (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee ) is with the high school students.,”

Stephen Dest

Younger students write, produce and perform during the day.

“During the day all the younger kids write produce their own little musical parodies that we perform right here in the recital hall,” said Dest.

Spelling Bee’s cast will take the stage at Hamden Hall. The students dedicate six weeks out of the summer to the program.

“People choose to come here – they choose to spend their summer doing stuff they love. Doing music, art and dance,” said Zach Munzner.

“In the end you realize how much of a community you form together; you get so close at the end of the 6 weeks – you always want to keep coming back,” said Becca Albert.

When the summer ends and a new school year begins, dedication pays off.

“What happens with a lot of these kids…sometimes its their first musical – and then when they go to high school it’s not unusual for them to become leads in their H.S productions,” said Dest.

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