I didn’t realize how large of a phenomenon Hamilton was until July of last summer. My husband was invited to be a special guest at a music camp in western Pennsylvania, and I was invited to accompany him. We were at the camp for a week, and toward the end of our time, the camp had a “soloist night” for the kids to participate in. The director of music decided he would do the closing number for the night and sing “My Shot” from the Hamilton soundtrack.
Before that summer, I hadn’t listened to the soundtrack, and it wasn’t until a few months later that I caved. I really wanted to experience Hamilton live on stage before I could recite all of the lyrics from memory. I wanted to go into the musical without any preconceived notions about what it would look like.
The director ended with his song, brown cape, and 1800’s getup, and the kids went crazy! Here was this group of 6-14 year-olds, more than 8 hours away from New York City, singing along to the Hamilton lyrics! Of course I knew that Hamilton was a big deal, but I lived 20 minutes outside of Manhattan. It’s not uncommon for me to attend a conference or event where a “night out” means free Broadway tickets and a ride into Times Square. But for us to be in a rural area of Pennsylvania where the kids knew every word to “My Shot”…that’s when I realized it.