When Scott County teacher Ashley Kruth received an invitation in the mail to send her choir students to Nashville to participate in the Music City’s 2017 Christmas Parade, she could not pass up the opportunity.
“I could not help think what they would learn from it,” Kruth said. “Knowing they could accomplish something like this.”
Kruth took 25 students from Scottsburg High School and Scottsburg Middle School to the Tennessee state capital, where they would join a mass youth choir of 1,000 students from across the United States. Each student had to audition for his or her spot on the trip; Kruth said 90 students auditioned. The students also had to complete a form explaining why they wanted to participate.
After being selected to perform at the 64th annual Christmas parade, the students had to learn the music they would sing while on the parade route.
“They had to learn their music very fast,” Kruth said.
In Nashville, the students had to meet with a professional choreographer and a music director at Opryland Hotel to learn their parts and movements while on the route. The parade route started on North First Avenue and Brandon Street and traveled south toward Broadway, ending at North Eighth Avenue. The parade passed by famous sites and historical spots, such as the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and Bridgestone Arena
“They learned about how to show professionalism,” Kruth said. “They learned about Nashville in general.”
On the day of the parade, the Scott County students walked for about two hours along the parade route with musical acts such as MercyMe, Debbie Gibson, and Shenandoah, among other artists and groups.
“I’ve never done anything like it before,” said Rachel Stauter, SHS sophomore and advanced choir student. “I really enjoyed it.”
“It was cool seeing the kids outside of Scottsburg,” Kruth said. “I was so proud of them. They were the epitome of professional.”
Not only did the students learn skills of working with choreography, taking musical direction, professionalism, performing, and collaboration, but the Indiana students made new friends from other schools across the nation.
“It was a really good collaboration,” Kruth said. “It was like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade but think Nashville and Christmas.”