Schools Rule: Grand Ledge High School choir gets lifetime opportunity

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 9:36 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for a local high school choir.

Students from Grand Ledge performed alongside Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez.

The Madrigals choir at Grand Ledge High School was supposed to be getting ready to perform The Little Mermaid for their fall show. However, students in Mrs. Petersen’s class were getting ready to share the stage with one of their idols.

“It means so much to me because when I was a young person, I know what it would have meant to have somebody that I looked up to come into my school and say, ‘Hey, you can do this, and it’s possible,’” said Gonzalez.

Gonzalez performed on Broadway shows such as Aida, In the Heights, Hamilton and even starred as Elphaba in Wicked. She was in town to perform her concert Fearless at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts in Lansing.

She reached out to Grand Ledge about an amazing opportunity.

“It’s like, ‘THE Mandy Gonzalez just emailed me.’ The Wharton Center and a couple of colleges recommended us,” said Petersen.

Gonzalez said she remembered what it was like to sit in class and dream about making it big. “I remember wanting to do this so badly, and I wanted to know, ‘How do I get there?’”

After the students performed Gonzalez’s song Fearless for her for the first time, some brave students wanted to perform a song and receive feedback. Students like Delayne Hengesbach said she was excited to perform with Gonzalez on stage.

“There are not many chances you get like this in a lifetime, and I am so thankful that our choir gets to do it. It is so cool being on stage with someone like her and to be able to sing one of her songs with all of my friends is so cool,” said Hengesbach.

The students performed with Gonzalez on stage, and without question, it was a night these young talented students would remember forever.

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