Webb Seniors Head to NYC for ‘Hamilton’ Prize Celebration

Webb seniors Jonathan Yu ’22 and Roy Zhang ’22 will travel to New York City on Tuesday, May 10 to see the smash musical “Hamilton” after winning one of 10 prizes in the annual Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Hamilton Education Program Online contest.

The Gilder Lerhman Society is a nationally renowned education center promoting the study of history and supporting research opportunities for high school students across the country.

The students won the award for a rap/hip hop song they recorded for an Advanced Studies American Revolution course. They will attend a matinee at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and visit the Gilder Lehrman Institute before returning to Webb on Thursday, May 12.

“It’s going to be a great getaway from school – especially during the busy time right now,” Yu said. “it’s going to be great.”

This will be Yu’s second trip to New York; Zhang is a frequent visitor but said he hasn’t had a chance to see a Broadway show.

“I love New York City,” Zhang said. “I’m really excited about going into the actual Broadway theater. It should be pretty interesting to experience.”

Zhang said he plans to take Yu to his favorite New York Pizza place – Prince Street Pizza.

“It’s the best thing in the whole country,” he said.

The duo’s song was prompted initially by the forced isolation of the pandemic.

Zhang taught himself to write and produce music after the spring 2020 school shutdown required him to return home to China. Yu said he’s long enjoyed writing lyrics and poetry.

But the students didn’t anticipate using those skills in class until Dr. Susanna Linsley asked for a creative capstone project for her fall 2020 history course. Students explored different perspectives on the American Revolution, using a multitude of primary sources, Linsley said. (Read more about the project here.)

Zhang and Yu learned in spring 2021 that they had won the prize. Initially, the trip was set for fall 2021, but had to be delayed.

Linsley and teacher Linda Silva will travel with Zhang and Yu on the trip.

May 9, 2022

10:35 AM PDT