Theater students perform summer school concert

By Angie Hilsman | Aug 02, 2017
Photo by: Angie Hilsman Freshman Taylor Olympia stands front and center while performing with peers Nathan Vieira, Ryley Ustinovich, Julia Olimpio, and Fran Howard.

In a Hawaiian patterned shirt and lei, Dartmouth High senior Nathan Vieira strutted across the auditorium stage singing "You're welcome" from Disney's Moana.

Sporting the same arrogance as the demigod Maui, played by Dwayne Johnson in the animation, was easy for the theatre company member.

"It's my song. It's 'You're welcome,'" said Vieira.

The act was just one of many singalongs he performed as a group of five for more than 300 summer school students on August 2. In other acts, he wore a fedora and chain.

Summer school coordinator Robin Kolbeck had asked the group of high school students to perform as a way of breaking up the monotony of Language Arts and Math classes.

"It's summer school, so we try to introduce cultural things every year," said Kolbeck. Also included this summer were yoga, karate, an author study, the unified color guard, and a police and K9 meet-and-greet, she said.

The concert performance is the second for seniors Julia Olimpio and Fran Howard, and freshman Taylor Olimpio. New to the group this year are Vieira and sophomore Ryley Ustinovich. All five students, however, are veterans on stage.

"My favorite part of performing is just watching the kids' faces light up. It's just mind boggling," said Taylor. "I love giving back to them because they deserve a break from school."

In the lineup are songs by Bruno Mars, Whitney Houston, Walk the Moon, and Macklemore, and Disney and Broadway songs.

Their audience ranges from pre-kindergarten to high school students, but the group has tricks for engaging everyone.

"We go into the audience. Last year, we pulled kids up on stage who were already up [and dancing]," said Julia.

The team has been picking songs, designing choreography (which includes Vieira doing the worm), and rehearsing for nearly two weeks. Last year, the group received dozens of 'thank you' cards from their audience.

Five Dartmouth High students perform for more than 300 summer school kids. Video by: Angie Hilsman

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