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The Esperanza Academy Choir shared stage with the pros at the 2016 Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia. The choir performed in the Mass Youth Choir ensemble on the steps of the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The students spent several months rehearsing mentally and physically for the performance which required singing and dancing. “It was a bit challenging at first as our students had never done anything like this before but they spent a great amount of time in school and at home practicing for this event, ” Melanie DeJesus, Esperanza Academy Music Teacher said.

Nonetheless, with hard work and dedication the students’ progress became evident. “Over time, their shy voices and small steps turned into confident singing and energetic movements,” DeJesus said. Even their performance anxiety could not overshadowed their excitement and professionalism on the day of the parade. “Our choir students performed wonderfully and exuded such confidence and energy into their performance…they were very proud of themselves,” DeJesus said.

The students also had the constant support of their teachers and were accompanied by chaperons to the event. “We were so grateful to Tania Ramos (Head of the Arts Departments and Dance Teacher) and Stephen Casey (High School Math Teacher), who came with us,” DeJesus said. “They were such active supporters of the choir and we greatly appreciated their time and effort during this event,” DeJesus said.

The choir performed two pieces and a special send off from Santa Claus which included “A Grease Medley” from the Broadway musical “Grease” and “The Holiday Medley” finale featuring multiple acts from the parade. Check it out here!

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