In celebration of the first day of a new season Tuesday, students from Roxborough High School took to the stage for the Winter Musical Showcase.
Two months of students’ classroom work and diligent rehearsals culminated in an energetic show comprised of choreographed dances, an art exhibition and various music performances.
The untraditional winter concert strayed from the typical holiday tunes. Instead, it focused on showcasing the individual personalities of the students, with songs such as “Slow Motion,” “If I Ain’t Got You,” and “Unfaithful.”
“The school needs a little bit of energy, a little bit of passion and pride coming back into the building,” said Principal Stephen Brandt.
Brandt says it’s all part of a new vision for Roxborough High, which includes a traditional and well-rounded curriculum for the students.
“We are going to be there to encourage them,” Brandt added.
Last year, Roxborough High School went under scrutiny after it was deemed “persistently dangerous” by the Commonwealth.
But Brandt, who stepped in as principal last March, is working to change Roxborough High’s reputation by promoting excellence both in and out of the classroom.
“Seeing the joy in the students’ faces, where they get the opportunity to showcase their work, there’s no doubt this is going to be the first of many. We hope to keep evolving it for our kids in the future to help them reach their greatest potential,” said Brandt.
The student performances reflected a well-deserved confidence, while the audience’s reaction reflected a new student morale. Following the night’s first solo by Joseph Cox, the crowd quickly stood up in unified applause, praising their classmate.
That’s why junior Aswad Hinton says the school should have more concerts.
“They bring our school together. We have fun and we can all get together,” said Hinton, after he and four others arrived to the concert shortly after playing basketball for the school’s team. He showed off the team’s new bags, noting a profound change within the school just over the past few months.
“Our principal is nice, he’s doing great things,” said Hinton.
Ron Coles, the school’s new music director, has been preparing the students for the concert for the past few months. He says they put in a lot of sweat and hard work.
“I’m really proud of them,” said Coles. “It’s great to watch everyone grow and work hard in class to give them the confidence. Some of the things that we thought weren’t great in the beginning turn out to be the best things.”