The combined talents of students enrolled in the Performing Arts Academy at the Frank J. Gargiulo campus with those in High Tech High School’s Culinary Arts Department made for a spectacular showing of Homecoming on Tuesday night in Secaucus. It was an evening of great food and fabulous performances on stage from present students and past graduates.
The Hudson County Schools of Technology restructured its Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs of study at the beginning of this academic year to allow more students in Hudson County the opportunity to participate in The Arts. The HCST Performing Arts Academy at the Frank J. Gargiulo Campus, High Tech High School, now supports Dance students through both choreography and performance, while the Theater Arts continues exposure to Drama and Musical Theatre. Additionally, HCST provides pathways for apprenticeship opportunities through their partnership with IATSE Local 59, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.
Among other expertise-driven programs at HCST are the Media & Visual Arts, which include Audio and Video Broadcasting, as well as Graphic Design. They all work collectively to support productions and events.
And that was the philosophy behind Tuesday night’s collaboration between the Culinary Arts students, who prepared a full course dinner for the 300 or so guests who attended the Homecoming performance.
The Culinary students got to prepare the meal and experience what a career as a chef or food industry employee would entail, while the Musical Theater students have received instruction from past graduates who have gone on to professional careers in Theater Arts, something Musical Theater Director John Zisa says is an invaluable learning tool and way to prepare High Tech students for college, and ultimately musical careers should they choose to pursue that
Throughout his teaching career, Zisa has prepared and graduated students into some of the top theater programs in the country, including NYU, Carnegie Mellon, University of Michigan, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, and many others.
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