Young Americans, local students, take the stage by storm in New Prague

By Patrick Fisher

Susan Nytes and Ashley May worked hard to learn a series of dance steps along with a group of New Prague High School students on Thursday, Sept. 30, in the New Prague Middle School gym.

The two girls were among 260 students from third to 12th grade who took part in a series of workshops and classes given by the Young Americans during their time in New Prague. Their main purpose is to help young people strengthen their character, learn about the performing arts and encourage music in the schools and nation.

The Young Americans National Outreach Tour presented three days of workshops and classes in voice, dance, music and other aspects of the performing arts. The majority of the group is made up of young people ranging in age from their teens to early 20s. At the end of the three days the Young Americans presented a two-hour show and concert that included the 260 students from the New Prague schools.

On Thursday, the first day of the program, the Young Americans and the students formed a circle in the center of the middle school’s gym. To help them get to know each other and relax, a mixture of pop and hip-hop music played in the background as the Young Americans encouraged the students to dance across the center of the circle.

The 48 members of the Young Americans took time to introduce themselves and give the students a taste of what they will learn over the next three days by singing small snippets of a mixture of songs, which included classical, pop, hip-hop, country western, gospel, jazz and Broadway tunes.

The California-based program has members from 15 states, as well as Canada and England.

One member is a New Prague native. Toby Thietje, a 2001 graduate of New Prague High School, was with the group during their stay in New Prague.

I spent two years with the Young Americans. I’m now going to school in Florida

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