Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Archive

Five HVRHS students win national honors for songs

Advertisement

FALLS VILLAGE – Two different student teams from Housatonic Valley Regional High School have won national recognition for blending their historical knowledge with song-writing.

Students at Housatonic Valley Regional High School students perform their songs that won national recognition this year. On left, Manny Matsudaira of Cornwall and Kyle McCarron of Kent sing ‘Blessed is He.’ On right, Andy Delgado, Katelin Lopes, and Tess Marks perform the ‘Battle of Trenton.’ Contributed photos

The five students, who are all juniors, presented their award-winning songs Monday to the Region 1 Board of Education. The songs were created for a contest offered by the Hamilton Online Education Program, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Kyle McCarron, Manny Matsudaira, Andy Delgado, Katelin Lopes, and Tess Marks all worked with Peter Vermilyea, chairman of the Social Studies Department at HVRHS, as well as music teacher Thomas Krupa in the song creation. McCarron is the only student from Kent.

“Students use primary source documents to write a song in the style of Hamilton the musical, to capture the essence of a person, an event or a theme in American history,” Vermilyea told the board. Ten groups from around the country were chosen as competition winners and our school had two of them.”

The students won an all-expense trip to New York City to spend three days and two nights. They and will see “Hamilton the Musical” on Broadway, have a Q and A with the cast, and get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Broadway.

The students explained how they used primary source documents for the lyrics of their song and blended together traditional melodies with rap sections.

Marks, Lopes and Delgado spoke about their song, the “Battle of Trenton” in which they chose “Common Sense” by Thomas Paine and a letter by Henry Knox that he wrote to his wife, Lucy.

“We used those sources to pull out information about the battle and be truthful in our song, but we also took specific lines from each and put them into our song,” explained Marks.

Lopes said the song follows a path from a melody, into a rap and then back into a melody.

“This signifies the Battle of Trenton and the somber beginning of it to the exciting win for the Army and back into its melody,” Lopes said.

A video of the song can be seen here.

The other group of McCarron and Matsudaira created “Blessed is He” and they said they wanted to focus on the Native Americans and their struggles with the Revolutionary War.

“We focused on the Battle of Oriskany. We used letters from Philip Schuyler and letters from a Shinnecock tribe,” explained Matsudaira. “We used those two as alternating opinions on the matter and creating a song out of it. We also used hymnals from the time period as the melody of our song.”

McCarron said that his group also used the melody-rap-melody pattern. The melody was the Native American’s plea and the rap was the argument between the Shinnecock tribes and the Army.

A video of the song can be seen here.

Lynn Worthington
Written By

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Katie Moore

    April 4, 2024 at 11:02 am

    Congratulations to the HVRHS students on this accomplishment… Well done and enjoy Hamilton😍

  2. Avatar

    Deb Schlee

    April 4, 2024 at 12:25 pm

    Great article, Lynn! This is fantastic. It never ceases to amaze me of the many great things students can accomplish when driven by a sense of purpose. Kudos to all the student creators at HVRHS, to the Chairman of the History Department, their music teacher and to Kent’s own Kyle McCarron!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe

Subscribe to receive an email every time we publish a new edition of the GTD!

*
Advertisement

Upcoming Events

You May Also Like

Featured

KENT—Kent Center School Principal Michelle Mott and the Board of Education ran into a barrage of complaints from parents concerned about the information their...

Business

KENT – Julianne Dow has returned to a place that she loved as a teenager to retire and run her business, Dow Integrative Institute....

Featured

KENT – Author Peter Vermilyea clearly loves enlightening local residents on the history of Litchfield County towns. He’s published his third book, “Litchfield County...

Opinions

To the Editor: I was shocked to read the April 11 Kent Good Times Dispatch article “Project Sage curriculum provokes firestorm of protest.” Not...

Featured

KENT – “Here Comes the Sun” could be heard over the speakers at 45 on Main just as the partial eclipse reached its high...