Chancellor Fariña Announces Expansion of SING Program to 10 New High School Campuses

  • Posted: Tue Dec 01, 2015 Updated: Fri Apr 20, 2018

Students Will Write, Cast, Rehearse, and Perform Their Own Musicals. New SING Schools Include CTE, Renewal, and Co-Located High Schools

NEW YORK – Chancellor Carmen Fariña today announced that the SING musical program will expand to 10 additional high school campuses, which include a total of 20 schools, this year. SING, which began at Midwood High School in 1947, is a New York City public high school tradition through which high school students write, cast, rehearse, and perform an entirely new musical. The program expansion is supported by a donation from singer-songwriter Taylor Swift in partnership with the Fund for Public Schools, and will increase arts participation and engagement – including after-school and on weekends – at the newly selected schools. 

The 10 selected high schools – which include four co-located schools that will engage their campuses in SING – were selected from a pool of 20 applicants based on their proposed SING implementation plans, including their ability to engage English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities in the program; their plans to leverage SING to build school spirit and engagement in and outside of their school building; and their project’s alignment to the Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts, the document guiding high-quality arts instruction across the DOE. The newly selected schools’ proposals range from a SING performance centered on the theme of Respect for All to a performance celebrating a school’s 80th anniversary. 

All 10 of the selected schools are brand-new to SING, and represent the diversity of the City’s high schools – they include schools from four boroughs, three CTE schools, two Renewal schools, and four co-located schools. The co-located schools will engage their campuses in the SING program to build campus identity and cooperation, including through a model where students from all schools in the building will create grade-level short SING performances. The schools currently participating in SING are mostly located in South Brooklyn and Staten Island. 

“SING gives our high school students an opportunity to work with their peers, and create and execute a project from start to finish,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “This is a wonderful program for developing passions in the arts and for building school and community spirit. In particular, co-located schools will also be collaborating, bringing new excitement and camaraderie for our high schoolers. The SING students are going to gain skills and experience that they can use in college and throughout their lives.” 

The selected schools, which serve about 15,000 students, will receive training and support as they implement their SING program this year. Ernest Pysher, who has previously overseen successful SING productions at Midwood High School, will visit each of the 10 newly selected schools throughout the year and provide support in the creation of SING scripts, rehearsals, and production schedules. Additionally, schools will receive support around the logistics of theater production – including set, costumes, lighting, and props – from ArtsConnection, a community-based arts partner. The 10 schools will start their script-writing and casting process this month, with most final performances in the early spring. The total cost of the SING expansion for the 2015-16 school year is about $122,000. 

“SING has provided unparalleled arts enrichment for my students at Midwood, and I am so happy that 10 new schools will be able to benefit from this opportunity,” said SING Supervisor Ernest Pysher. “I look forward to working with educators and students at these schools as they implement their own unique SING programs. Our students across the City have so much talent and passion, and I know these productions are going to be fantastic.” 

“SING provides an opportunity for our enormously talented fashion design and visual arts CTE students to apply the skills they learn every day in the classroom,” said Daryl Blank, principal of High School for Fashion Industries. “Through this new outlet for the arts, our students will engage their imaginations, explore their creativity, and develop their confidence – whether it’s designing, writing, performing, or marketing their SING production.” 

“SING is a perfect opportunity for the students at the John Jay Campus to collectively strengthen and showcase their theater, dance, music and production skills,” said Jill Bloomberg, principal of Park Slope Collegiate. “The faculty, staff and students are all looking forward to working together to create a performance that will build community at the same time that it highlights our students’ talents.” 

Below is a list of the newly selected SING schools. Co-located schools that will collaborate with the other schools on their campuses are bolded: 

Celia Cruz High School of Music, Bronx 
Park Slope Collegiate, Brooklyn 
William H. Maxwell CTE High School, Brooklyn 
Frederick Douglass Academy, Manhattan 
High School of Fashion Industries, Manhattan 
Bayside High School, Queens 
Flushing High School, Queens 
John Bowne High School, Queens 
Martin Van Buren High School, Queens 
Thomas A. Edison CTE High School, Queens 
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