Music students at George Washington Academy in Casablanca, Morocco who will be coming to Ticonderoga High School on March 9 for the MoroccAmerican Music Festival. Megan Walls (front center) is with the 9th graders who will be participating in the festival.
TICONDEROGA – Ticonderoga High School will hold the MoroccAmerican Music Festival with students from Casablanca, Morocco playing alongside local musicians.
Ticonderoga alumnus Megan Walls is currently working at George Washington Academy in Casablanca, Morocco, Ticonderoga High School Music Teacher Michael E. Iturrino said.
“Over the course of this school year, (music teacher) Jolene Harrigan, Megan and I have been working on putting a transcontinental music festival together,” he said. “Megan is bringing 19 of her students, nine high school and 10 middle school students, over to Ticonderoga to perform with select students from Ticonderoga Middle School and Ticonderoga High School.”
On Thursday, March 9, they will offer a one-day music festival starting at 9 a.m., similar to an all-county music festival, with the Moroccan students and Ticonderoga students.
In addition, there will be a free public concert in Ticonderoga High School auditorium that day at 7 p.m. featuring the ensemble. The concert will be directed by Walls, Iturrino and Harrigan.
Walls is a member of the Ticonderoga Class of 2006. She is now a music teacher at George Washington Academy, an American pre-kindergarten to grade 12 school in Casablanca, Morocco.
“Jolene and I have been talking about doing something together for a long time, whether it was pen-pals or doing a music festival,” Walls told The Sun. “We were talking this summer and it just seemed like a good year to go for it.”
Walls said she and her students are coming to the states just for the festival.
“By ‘transcontinental’ music festival, Mike means kind of like an all-county festival, but just between our two schools,” she said.
Walls said George Washington Academy is a private, tri-lingual school in Casablanca, Morocco, that teaches an American curriculum and has classes in French and Arabic as well.
“While most of the students are Moroccan, we have 49 nationalities represented at the school,” she said. “The school is about the same size as Ticonderoga, about 900 students. We’re bringing 19 students in grades 7-11, with multiple nationalities, including French, Swiss, Indian, Moroccan, Canadian and American.”
She said Casablanca is a city of about five million people, so it’s a bit of a jump to 5,000 in Ticonderoga.
“I’ve been taking the kids on international trips for a long time and I’m really looking forward to ‘bringing them home,’” Walls said. “Multiple members of the Ticonderoga community will be opening their homes to the GWA students, and the students will also get to see what going to school and living in Ticonderoga is like.”
They’ll also visit other sights while in the states.
“Students are super-excited for the festival and they’re looking forward to seeing the places I’ve talked about, especially the Hot Biscuit Diner,” Walls said. “I wear my HBD t-shirt quite a bit, and many of them can quote its ‘well butter my biscuits’ logo.
“We’ll also be spending a day in New York City and visiting a few colleges in the Albany area, including my alma mater, the College of Saint Rose, during our visit.”