Young fans of musical theater got a special opportunity this weekend to work with one of the foremost show choirs in the country. The Young Americans is a performance group like no other.
"We travel around the world. We try to promote music and try to keep it in schools, keep it alive, keep all the passion in the kids in any form of the arts that we can," said cast member Andrew Fields.
The Young Americans was one of the first ever show choirs, credited for popularizing glee clubs and show choirs. That group arrived in Nebraska this week to teach kids the importance of music education.
"The main part is for them to try new stuff," Fields said.
More than 110 kids from third to 12th grades attended the Kearney workshop.
"What made me interested is I've been singing and dancing since I was at least 3 years old. I just really enjoy the arts, especially show choir," said high school freshman Mariah Stelling.
With the help of the 46-member cast, the kids work to put on a show in less than three days.
"It's really hard getting to memorize every single dance because they go song after song after song after song, so it's kind of hard to keep up with it," said John Harblos, a student at Sunrise Middle School in Kearney.
But it wasn't just about singing and dancing.
"Our main focus is to keep music in the schools, but through that we also do a lot of things with the kids, help them break out of their boxes, out of their shells, learn some confidence, all that kind of stuff," said Fields.
"It's really fun interacting with new people because there's always someone better than you. And so when I watch those, it's like, wow, I can learn a lot from them. And there's also people who have never done anything like this, so I think it's really good to learn from them also because they are not afraid to try new things," Stelling said.
And it's perhaps also inspiring some kids to pursue a career in the arts.
"I love hearing stories about where they go and what they've done, and it just makes me want to be one of them when I'm older," said Addison Parr, another Sunrise Middle School student.
The students in the Kearney workshop will be putting on their show Sunday evening at six at Kearney Senior High. The Young Americans cast will then go to Minden for another 3-day workshop.