NEW YORK — The power of music brought together strangers -- a busker and a group of students from Maine -- in one of America's most impressive cities on Thursday.
Jennifer McCowan, a drama teacher from Winslow High School, says she and her students have been on a trip for four days in New York, experiencing all of the arts and culture the city has to offer.
The 41 students, who are all involved in either band, chorus, or drama at the school, have been fundraising for over a year to make the trip happen. As a result of their hard work, they've been able to see four Broadway shows, meet the cast of "Dear Evan Hansen", and workshop with professional actors.
One of the most special moments, however, took place outside of the decorated theaters and bright lights when they joined a street performer playing guitar in Central Park to sing "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri.
McCowan says the busker was beaming the entire time, and by the end, a large group of people had gathered around to listen to the music on the gorgeous spring morning.
"It was heartwarming to see the smile on the guitar player's face, knowing we made such an impact on multiple people's lives in that moment," said Stephanie Shorette, a senior at WHS. "I know it gave me the chills hearing everyone."
"I loved being a part of a group that is so comfortable with being themselves. There was something so inspiring about being able to connect with strangers and being able to sing with them," said Devin Daigneault, another senior.
The students, and their teachers and chaperones, are on their way back to Maine now -- but this visit has been an experience they are likely never to forget.
"My favorite part of the trip was seeing these kids from a small town in Maine fully embrace the big city," said McCowan. "These kids are passionate about the arts, and that was a beautiful moment in Central Park when they spontaneously gathered to sing."