Musical Theatre Program Approved After Student Performance

By Brianna Meeks

On February 25, the Loudoun County School Board approved plans for a musical theatre magnet pilot program which will open next year at Heritage High School.

Wendy Marco, mother of Tuscarora sophomore Cierra Marco, developed the original plan and proposed it to the Loudoun School Board in January. Operated like the Academy of Science or Monroe Technology Center, the plan allows students to take classes in acting, singing, and dancing at a separate school every other day. After the initial proposal, school system staff did a feasibility study and filled in some details. After this, the School Board voted on the proposal at the February School Board meeting.

Before voting on the proposal at the meeting, Brody Brown, a ninth grader from Loudoun County High School, approached the podium and asked the members of the School Board to “seize the day.” He then started singing the beginning the song “Seize the Day” from the musical Newsies. Soon, students from all around Loudoun County, including Tuscarora juniors Stephen Coakley and Elizabeth Getis and sophomore Cierra Marco, joined him in full chorus. They were greeted with a standing ovation from the members of the School Board and a decision of 7 to 2 in favor of the program.

The performance at the School Board meeting was also organized by Mrs. Marco. She contacted strong singers from each school and coordinated rehearsals. Getis said, “A lot of the other students knew each other from other events, but I didn’t know anyone except for Cierra and Stephen. It was really cool meeting and working with talented people from other schools.”  

For students interested in the program, applications for next year will be due in April, with auditions in May and admissions decisions sent out in June. As this is still the pilot program to test for feasibility in the long run, only up to 32 students will be selected for next year’s program.

Speaking about the experience as a whole, Cierra Marco said, “It was powerful to work with people who are as passionate as I am. And it was amazing to watch history happen.”

(I dunno if we’d want this, but here’s the link to the video of the song: