Taking Inspiration from The Red Curtain Project: Brooklyn High School of the Arts

The Red Curtain Project hosts virtual workshops introducing students to our Story Library along with the creative process used to produce the digital story performances. Junior and senior high school students in The Select Choir at Brooklyn High School of the Arts reinterpreted RCP's stories to compose unique lyrics and musical scores using Soundtrap software. Explore their compositions below. 

Student Composition Gallery

Behind the Scenes

"The Select Choir is one of Brooklyn High School of the Arts most advanced choirs, made up of mostly junior and senior vocal majors. Our collaboration with RCP was quite serendipitous. When the first marking period in school was about to end, I was looking for a project that focuses on amplifying students' voice and decided that I wanted to teach the choir how to write songs. Songwriting is not usually a project that is taken on by traditional choirs, but because of the pandemic, I wanted a project that gave students a platform to connect with others, as well as themselves.

 

About 2-weeks before I started the project, I received a message from Preeti, a friend and artist who I have worked with for many years before when we were both a part of Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Connect program. Knowing about my love for culture and the arts, she introduced me to the Red Curtain Project and I immediately fell in love with the stories and performances on the site. When I saw how illustrations were being drawn to the stories and music being composed, I thought, "well, my kids can do that!". And so, the proposal to have my students interpret stories from around the world began. 

When we started the project, a lot of students were fearful about songwriting. For most, this is their first time writing a full fledged piece, building everything from text to accompaniment, and creating melodies that all combine into a song that tells a story. It was surely a huge task, but broken up into parts, the students ran with their idea and imagination. I think in the end not only were they able to connect with the stories on a cultural aspect, but grew to become better musicians and story-tellers."

In partnership with Brooklyn High School of the Arts, a dual-mission public high school dedicated to providing aspiring artists and scholars with an academically rigorous pre-college course of study and a comprehensive, four-year pre-conservatory arts program.