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Hamilton: A Story Of US

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'Hamilton': A Story Of US

Music

'Hamilton': A Story Of US

The Broadway Hit Gets Kids Performing History Lessons In Their Own Way

Hamilton: A Story Of US

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Hamilton's reach spreads beyond Broadway. Since the musical opened in 2015, it's won almost every possible theatre award, including 11 Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize. Its cast recording has gone platinum and hit No. 1 on the rap chart. A large part of Hamilton's appeal is that it takes the story of America's Founding Fathers and recasts it in contemporary terms — the score is an amalgam of hip-hop, R&B and pop, and the cast is multiracial. As author and star Lin-Manuel Miranda says, "It's a story about America then, told by what America looks like now."

It's also become a popular teaching tool in America's classrooms. With funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and a curriculum developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 20,000 New York City high school juniors are not only getting to see the hottest show in town for 10 dollars a ticket — a "Hamilton" — they're also taking a deep dive into American history. Gilder Lehrman has provided a website with primary source documents, and the students spend a month researching and coming up with their own creative responses to the material; they write songs, raps, poems and scenes. Representatives from each participating high school then get to perform onstage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre before seeing a matinee performance of Hamilton on the very same stage.

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Audio Extra

Student beatboxer Chris Zaragoza of Broome Street Academy provided the beats for Hamilton: A Story Of US. Here, he shows principal Barbara McKeon how it's done.

Chris Z. Teaches Beatboxing

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Hamilton: A Story of US follows students as they go through this process at several New York high schools: Bronx Theatre High School, Broome Street Academy Charter High School and Marble Hill High School. In the audio special above, you'll hear students like Osariemen "Tootie" Uwaifo, Chris Zaragoza and Asia Jenkins creating and performing their material; chatting with Ron Chernow, the author of the biography on which the musical is based; and visiting Alexander Hamilton's Manhattan home. Below, find individual student performances and tweets from the program (that's #EduHam, of course).

Hear The Student Performances

01Hamilton Is The Man

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Hamilton Is The Man

  • by Natalie Diaz, Rebecca Martinez and Evan Romero (Schuylerville Preparatory High School)

01Boston Massacre Rap

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Boston Massacre Rap

  • by Rachel Bioh, Yeabsira Debebe and Jasmiri Valerio (Facing History High School)

01Man In The Shadows

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Man In The Shadows

  • by Antonyio Artis, Raymond Smith, Jr. and Lawrence Upson (Preparatory Academy For Writers)

01Eacker The Squeaker

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Eacker The Squeaker

  • by Lilliam Montilla and Deshaye Tingling (Bronx Theatre High School)

01Eston Hemings Poem

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Eston Hemings Poem

  • by Russell Alston (Bronx Theatre High School)

01Angelica Schuyler Poem

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Angelica Schuyler Poem

  • by Asia Jenkins (Bronx Theatre High School)

01Phillis Wheatley Poem

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Phillis Wheatley Poem

  • by Alyssa Martinez (Renaissance High School For Musical Theatre and Technology)

01Phillis Wheatley Song

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Phillis Wheatley Song

  • by Diandre Alexander and Melik Morrison (Uncommon Collegiate Charter High School)

01Who Am I? Alexander Hamilton

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Who Am I? Alexander Hamilton

  • by Deontae Lewis and Diana Oliveres (Curtis High School)

01Immigration Rap

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Immigration Rap

  • by Christian Gowan, Malcom Grant and Daniel Ingrassia (Bronx Engineering and Technical Academy)

01Whiskey Rebellion Rap

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Whiskey Rebellion Song

  • by Christopher McKenney and Christopher Zaragoza (Broome Street Academy)

01Whiskey Rebellion Rap

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Whiskey Rebellion Rap

  • by Tootie Uwaifo and Christopher Zaragoza (Broome Street Academy)

01My Name's Hamilton And I Care What You Think

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My Name's Hamilton And I Care What You Think

  • by Reynaldo Reyes (Long Island City High School)