Huntington High School’s music lovers come in all shapes, sizes and ages and the teenagers’ tastes are just as diverse. The nearly 1,500 students filling the building’s classrooms prove you don’t have to be a musician to dig music.
Living a proverbial “stone’s throw” from one of the world’s music capitals, Huntington students have access to every music genre and some of the most famous venues in the entertainment world. The teenagers are well-known for taking advantage of their proximity to New York City’s five boroughs and the thriving music scene found in nearly every neighborhood in the Big Apple. There’s the Paramount on New York Avenue, too, which attracts some top names in the business.
Several dozen Huntington students trekked into Queens last weekend for the first ever Meadows Music and Arts Festival. The performers ranged from J. Cole and Empire of the Sun to Chance the Rapper and Kanye West. There were 40 acts in all over the two day festival.
Huntington students were in the crowd
at the Meadows Music and Arts Festival.
Bas performed along with a stirring rendition of Prince’s rock anthem “Purple Rain” by Twin Shadow. The diversity of music provided something for everyone in the huge crowd.
“My experience at the Meadows was great,” Huntington junior Tim Low said. “I decided to go because a lot of my favorite artists were playing there and I felt like this would be a great chance to see them live. I had a great time watching each performance and experiencing all of it with friends. Over the course of the festival we saw lots of kids from our high school and each time we said hi and talked for some time. It was really a great experience and I would do it again.”
Most of the Huntington students took the Long Island Railroad to Queens. Performers took the stage at Citi Field and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“The concert was an exciting insight into the artistic world of rap music and really fun and enjoyable,” Huntington sophomore Emma Grassi said. “There was a very big crowd and lots of hype. Kanye was a big draw.”
The huge crowd posed challenges for those attending the festival. “It was a lot of fun, but standing in the crowd was a little uncomfortable because there were so many people packed so close to each other,” Huntington sophomore Eliza Engelsher said. “I really wanted to see Chance the Rapper and Kayne and I also saw some Huntington kids there.”
J. Cole performed at the Meadowns Music and Arts Festival in Queens.
Huntington music teachers encourage the student-musicians they work with to seek out music in all its forms. The faculty members believe such exposure is a necessary part of improving and maturing as a musician, staying motivated and spurring innovation.
Huntington High School’s student newspaper, The Dispatch regularly includes articles and columns on the music scene. There are more than enough music lovers in the building to warrant such coverage.
(Katherine DeGennaro, a Huntington High School sophomore who is interning in the district’s Office of Public Information contributed to this story.)