The Room Where it Happens: Scholars Reflect on Hamilton

This fall, all Freshman and Senior Scholars had the opportunity to see Hamilton: An American Musical at the PrivateBank Theatre as a Core Exposure. This week on the blog, Scholars from Mundelein High School, Highland Park High School, and Cristo Rey St. Martin High School will share their what they learned from Hamilton. 

My Hamilton Experience
By Sierra Bouchard '20, Mundelein High School

When walking into the brightly lit auditorium in Chicago, I had no idea that seeing Hamilton: the American Musical would be one of the best experiences of my life. After a year of singing all the catchy songs nonstop, looking deeper into the history of our founding fathers, and dreaming about one day seeing the musical, it was easy to say that I was obsessed with Hamilton. Each of the lyrics spoke to me and over time, the songs became the soundtrack to my life. Of course, I wasn’t born in the Caribbean, put on the 10 dollar bill, or recognized as the founding father of our country, but somehow the life of Alexander Hamilton brought inspiration into my own. Listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, inspired me to work hard, be diligent and driven in all that I do with the hope of becoming successful like just like Alexander Hamilton. My dreams and my goals were furthered maximized after hearing Hamilton’s story in a form of rap music that was fast-paced and very exhilarating. I became addicted to listening to the soundtrack and it caused me to dream and fantasize about seeing the musical live. Sadly, those dreams were minimized when I realized that my single mother probably couldn't afford an expensive Broadway ticket to see the show in Chicago. Although my circumstances caused me to have doubts, I still had faith that I may one day be able to see it and have the story be told to me visually on Broadway. Little did I know that my dreams were coming to life when my Scholar Coaches announced that our class was going to see Hamilton the Musical live in Chicago! It didn’t sink in for me at first because I was very shocked and surprised, but seconds later I became beyond excited. I was more than blessed to have the chance to see an award winning show at a prestigious theatre as I would have never seen the show without the amazing opportunity from Schuler. I am more than grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me and excited to have shared my experience with loving friends (who were very jealous!). In my opinion Hamilton: An American Musical was a fantastic musical for Schuler Scholars to see because it brings a similar story of struggle in our own lives, and it most importantly sparks our inspiration to work hard for success.
Sierra Bouchard and Yaharia Garcia before watching Hamilton: An American Musical

Hamilton: An American Musical
By Quetzali Gomez ’19, Highland Park High School

My name is Quetzali Gomez and I am a new member of the Schuler Scholar Program. On Sunday October 23, I got the opportunity to head into the city to watch Hamilton: An American Musical. When we were first told the news, I was really excited. I had heard good things about Hamilton from other people and I went home that day and listened to a couple songs from the soundtrack. When I first heard the music, I really enjoyed it but I wasn’t sure what the meaning behind the lyrics was. I didn’t know much about who Alexander Hamilton was either. During my REP meetings, however, I read more about his life and his importance in our history.  It was really interesting to me how he had gone through so many ups and downs in his life but he still managed to leave a significant footprint. Through the learning I did in REP, I got more excited for the event and I was eager for the day to arrive. 

Time went by so quickly and then there we were, sitting at The PrivateBank Theatre. I was so amazed by the number of people in the theater and I could tell how everyone was so excited to be there. Then it started and I remember everyone quieting down so quickly; it was insane. While I was watching the musical, I remember having moments where I could not believe I was actually physically present. The actors were so talented and the way they portrayed their characters was so impressive. The musical itself was really interesting. It was about the life of Alexander Hamilton, who was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. The beginning of the play started off by explaining his life as an orphan. It also showed us the different people he met along the way like Aaron Burr, his future wife, George Washington, and more. It went in depth about his struggles while the revolution was going on as well as his personal life at home. The musical itself was so well put together and did a great job summarizing and explaining Hamilton’s importance in history. But, we always have a favorite part, right? Although I loved every second of the show my favorite part had to be the music. It was the music that created the theme of the show. Also, just listening to everyone’s voices and the lyrics behind the music was so satisfying.  Overall, watching the musical was such a great experience and being able to have this opportunity was wonderful.
HPHS Scholars at Hamilton and Educational Counselor Kerry Pearson with Hamilton tickets


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