Song, dance and memories in the city that never sleeps


A group of 35 students were invited to perform in the chorus of Jason Robert Brown’s Parade musical in New York City.


They came, they saw, they sang and they danced.

But before all of that came a 3 a.m. alarm, a bus ride to Pearson, a plane ride to New York and around $600 out of pocket.

Thirty-five Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance students were invited to join the chorus in Jason Robert Brown’s musical Parade at the Lincoln Centre on Feb. 16.

“It was an amazing experience,” said Ryan John, a fourth-year student.

“We’ve been training and learning how to do professional works and how to get ready for shows during the last four years. And getting to travel down there and see some of Broadway’s best performing was such an incredible experience.”

The invitation came after the musical theatre students put on a production of Parade for their 2014 season, which caught the attention of Brown.

“Considering that he’s the one who wrote the music for that show, being able to learn from him is invaluable,” said JJ Gerber, another fourth-year student.

“There’s nothing like it.”

The students also had a chance to meet Sheridan alumni now performing on Broadway, including Timothy J. Alex, Scott Campbell and Aaron Walpole.

“For me, it was especially special, because my dance partner from first year, Camille Eanga-Selenge, is now performing on Broadway in the Book of Mormon cast,” said Gerber.

“She was just here at Sheridan in the musical theatre program, and now she’s out there doing it on Broadway,” he said. “It was kind of like our education fully coming to fruition.”

The trip was funded by donations taken at the end of several past musical theatre productions.

“We took donations during our shows Little Women and Hello Dolly! last year,” said John.

“Because of the funding that happened through our donors here at Sheridan, through people that came to see our shows last season and offered to add more donations, we each only had to pay $600,” said Gerber.

“That’s over $40,000 off what the real price would’ve been, which is amazing. So we’re all extremely thankful for all of that, myself especially.”