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Student Blog: A Very Theatrical Graduation Playlist

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! Here's a playlist to celebrate all the things you've done - and will do in the future.

Student Blog: A Very Theatrical Graduation Playlist I just finished all of my classes and finals for my degree! Currently, the emotions I'm feeling are all over the place, and I know that music only helps me contextualize said emotions. Therefore, I decided that making a playlist (which you can find on Spotify using the code) would not only help set the mood of starting a new chapter, but also make for a good blog post in case others need a soundtrack for the changes in their own lives.

Here are the songs I selected:

  • "Astonishing" from Little Women - probably one of the most well-known strong female MT solos, this song is all about chasing your goals and paving your own path.
  • "Before It's Over" from Dogfight - this song had significance for me personally when I was in this show as a college freshman, and it takes on new meaning as I move from college to the "real world." Specifically, the lyrics, "maybe this sounds crazy but I'm happy that it happened, happy that I came, happy that I'm here" resonate with me, because if I hadn't taken several leaps of faith in the past four years, I wouldn't be who I am today.
  • "Come So Far (Got So Far To Go)" from Hairspray (2007 movie) - although not from the staged version of Hairspray, this is an upbeat choice for any graduation ceremony. My high school choir actually picked this as our senior song for our graduation ceremony, and I think it's such an underrated song (so much that it doesn't deserve to be the credits song!).
  • "Corner of the Sky" from Pippin - this is a great song about finding where you belong in the world and what you're meant to become. Definitely a song that doesn't lose its magic or charm!
  • "Defying Gravity" from Wicked - an Act 1 closer to end all Act 1 closers, no wonder why "Defying Gravity" is such a popular choice, both to sing and to put on your graduation cap!
  • "Find My Way" from Legally Blonde - because this song takes place at graduation, why wouldn't I add this to a playlist like this! From when I was in this show and watched graduating seniors tear up on stage, to now "finding my way" as a college graduate, this song is all about forging towards the future.
  • "For Good" from Wicked - what would graduation be without acknowledging the people who have changed you for the better? While it's a tear-jerker, "For Good" really gets at the bittersweetness of growth.
  • "Hear My Song" from Songs for a New World - Songs for a New World is not only one of my favorite song cycles, but it also has so many messages of hope in the stories that the cast members tell. This song specifically talks about having hope and faith through difficult times, and really encapsulates the feelings of uncertainty we face.
  • "The Life I Never Led" from Sister Act - I sang this for my senior showcase (on Zoom) this past week, and I chose it because from here on out, I want to be able to take risks and live life to the fullest.
  • "A Little More Homework" from 13 - while this show centers around the lives of middle schoolers, learning as a journey never ends. While assignments may stop, we never stop being students in life.
  • "Seasons of Love" from Rent - how do you measure a year (or four)? This song is a classic for a reason, and I couldn't make a graduation playlist (theatrical or just songs that fit the theme in general) without it.
  • "So Much Better" from Legally Blonde - After four years of hard work and a boost of self-confidence, I do feel "so much better than before," and know that many others who are graduating feel the same!
  • "A Way Back to Then" from [title of show] - I sang this in a cabaret this year, and it covers all the feelings of losing a sense of who you are, going through college and young adulthood, and finally finding your place in the world. I cannot say enough wonderful things about this simple, poignant piece.
  • "We're All In This Together (Graduation Mix)" from High School Musical 3: Senior Year - while this is also not from a stage musical, this song and scene in the third HSM movie hit different when you're prepping to wear your own cap and gown.
  • "What I Did for Love" from A Chorus Line - this song has always meant a lot to theatre people everywhere, but it has new meaning to me now, especially as I spent so much of my years in school devoted to theatre, and yet I haven't been able to perform in person with my friends in nearly two years. I knew what I had before it was taken away, but now I appreciate what I had more than ever.
  • "You Will Be Found" from Dear Evan Hansen - life can get hard sometimes, but knowing that you can get through anything because you're truly not alone is a gift.

Congratulations to any and all 2021 graduates! In the words of Elle Woods, "we did it!"


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