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BWW Blog: Christopher Castanho - One Of My Favorite Sounds

Christopher (age 14) on the New York Trip

The resonance of an orchestra warming up before a performance is a very comforting sound for me: reminiscent of the nights at the theatre with my Meme. But there is something very special regarding the cadence of my first Broadway orchestra in preparation, that sound I will never forget.

I grew up in Connecticut, and even though that is fairly close to the Great White Way, I hadn't traveled to New York City until my freshman year of high school. My choir had been invited to participate in a country-wide collaborative performance to sing at Carnegie Hall. Yes, I performed at the famed Carnegie Hall when I was fourteen-years-old. (That story is for a different time!)

So wait a minute, you wanted to be on Broadway but had never seen a Broadway show? I was fortunate enough to have seen multiple touring shows: my first being The Sound of Music, and also saw a lot of regional theatre at the Hartford Stage, Goodspeed Opera House, and etc. I had never sat in a Broadway theatre and experienced the kind of electric energy that only seems to appear in the bustling and dirty city we call "New York" until ninth grade.

Part of my school trip included a Broadway show, which was the most exciting part for me. Last time my school went to New York they saw Legally Blonde, which I knew about, but this time we were going to see a new musical called In The Heights. I had never really heard much about this show, so I downloaded the opening song on iTunes the night before. I was super excited. I remember thinking that the music sounded so interesting, rhythmic, and made me want to salsa, even though I didn't know how...

It was the day of the show and I was close to throwing up glitter I was so jazzed. As we got to our seats, which were pretty high up in the balcony, I was awestruck. Everything was so beautiful. The many flights of stairs took my breath away, figuratively and literally. The seats were gorgeous, as they had velvety red upholstering which was buttery smooth as I sat down. I remember thinking "You have to be a sponge right now, soak up every detail. This is what you want to do. This is where you want to be." It was epic: I was finally getting to see a Broadway show.

The performance had flown by and I was faced with themes such as honesty, love, community, dreaming big, and more. It was INCREDIBLE. Dancing, singing, acting, everything was amazing. I started looking around at all of my friends in the audience as the lights came back up and couldn't speak. I was just so ecstatic.

I still get emotional whenever I think of that night, the energy and love that I received from that show will never leave me. It was that powerful. The sound of the In The Heights orchestra warming up in the Richard Rodgers theater will continually be one of my favorite sounds, as it reminds me my innocence, pure love and joy when first experiencing a Broadway music in the famed New York City.

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