Cypress College students have gained national attention in a contest called “Stay Home and Sing,” with a video featuring their adaptation of a song from the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In The Heights.” The students performed the song “96,000,” selected from their spring production of the musical, which was cut short due to the Coronavirus-related campus closure.
If the students earn enough votes, they could win thousands of dollars for a charity of their choice and a chance to perform their musical number for a public audience. The team entered in the “Open” category, and became one of three finalists in that group on April 27.
The contest was created by a group from the Texas panhandle called Inspire Amarillo. According to the contest page, their goal is “to ‘connect’ with our family, friends and colleagues” through videos of teams performing their favorite songs.
The Theater Department’s adaptation of the Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In The Heights” was directed by Angela Cruz, a Professor of Theater at Cypress College. It premiered Friday, March 6, and ended its run Sunday, March 8; the campus closed before the second weekend of the performance, because of government-mandated shutdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The sets still stand in the Cypress College theater awaiting the scheduled shows that never took place.
Inspire Amarillo describes itself as “a way for all of Amarillo, the Panhandle and the Nation to virtually speak, perform or sing words of hope.” The contest is sponsored by Fairly Group.
The grand prize is performing at the Amarillo Sod Poodles 2020 Opening Day Game. In addition, five entries with the most votes each get to pick a charity to receive $5,000.