By Brooke Yurisich '20
Bright and early at 4:30 in the morning, Marist High School Choir arrived at Midway Airport to start our adventure to New York City. As the anticipation and excitement arose inside the 16 of us, our bags were checked, we were through the airport security, and already boarding the plane to New York. After what felt like only an hour of flying, we touched down in the The Big Apple. Most of us could not contain our excitement for what we were about to experience over the next couple of days.
At the airport we met our tour guide, Meredith, and she started us off on our journey around town. As we made our way into the big city, it was around 9:00 in the morning when we first arrived at The Row Hotel in New York City. The hotel was modern, beautiful, and very comfortable to ensure a great stay for our chorus. As soon as we got to the hotel, we started to explore. Our first stop we visited was the J.D. Rockefeller Center in downtown Manhattan. Inside and at the 70th floor, we toured this amazing building built by John D. Rockefeller's son, David, and saw the breathtaking view of New York City's skyline. Next, we took different subways and paraded around Little Italy and Chinatown where we tasted Italian cannolis and Chinese almond cakes. Marist Chorus takes to the kitchen! Yes, that's right, Marist Choir took a cooking class later that evening. We made a variety of dishes including: seasoned salmon with vegetables and chili sauce, buffalo cauliflower, zucchini fries with a rich egg sauce, pita bread with chicken salad, peanut-fudge filled cookies, and delicious carrot cake cupcakes. All of these dishes were amazing thanks to our Chorus Chefs!
We were all afraid of the blizzard that was about to hit NYC, but we trudged through the thick blanket of snow to reach our Broadway workshop on Tuesday, March 14. This session was led by a Broadway actor, Arbender Robinson, and his Broadway music director. This experience was entirely thrilling because we learned the opening number to a new acapella musical
called, In Transit. MHS Chorus learned how to use energy and tempo throughout the piece of music, and how to properly sing acapella. For dinner, we ate at the famous Italian restaurant, Bucca di Beppo's in Times Square, then headed to Circle Theater to see In Transit. This show was an awesome experience, and clearly our favorite show yet. After the musical all the actors signed our Playbills, and we had the chance to perform the opening number to everyone live!
The next morning, as a group we took a subway to the United Nations building. Here, we took a very interesting tour explaining the history of the United Nations, how this building works, and the background details of what happens behind each cabinet door. We heard a discussion and debate in the General Assembly, which was a very different sight to see. Later on, we saw the matinée showing of Miss Saigon-an epic love story taking place during the Vietnam War in 1975-at the Broadway Theater. This performance was utterly spectacular! Later that evening, we enjoyed a delicious meal at the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square, New York. Afterwards, we had the opportunity to browse the stores around Times Square and do some souvenir shopping/sight seeing with each other. The sights of Times Square at night are astonishing. We also got to see the 2017 Times Square New Years' Eve Ball!
Early in the morning on our last day in NYC, Marist Choir visited the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. This experience is one that I will never be able to forget. This was my favorite part of the entire trip. As we arrived at the memorial, we looked upon the deep reflection pools where the North and South towers of the World Trade Center once stood tall and strong. The area was completely silent in remembrance of those who lost their lives on this horrible day. Next, we toured inside the 9/11 Museum. The artifacts and images we saw inside were ones that sent chills up and down your spine. The museum was put together stunningly, and my eyes shed many tears as I witnessed the history of this event. Afterwards, we stood together as a group outside the North reflection pool, and took each other's hands to say the Memorare. This experience was unbelievable. Next, we hopped onto the Staten Island Ferry to float past the Statue of Liberty. I'd never think that I would ever see the real thing in front of me! Sadly, this would conclude our trip to New York City as a choir. As soon as we arrived in New York, it felt as though we were leaving too early. We ate lunch later on, then headed back to Newark Liberty International Airport to catch our plane back home. We agreed as a chorus to always remember this remarkable experience, and always love The Big Apple.