Young Americans workshop begins Thursday at high school

Published 1:52 pm Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On Thursday, the internationally-acclaimed performance and outreach group, The Young Americans, return to Bogalusa for a three-day workshop and culminating concert at Bogalusa High School.

The workshop is open to all students between third grade and current seniors. For the third time in the last six years, Bogalusan Bruce Sampson will serve as director.

For more than 20 years, The Young Americans International Music Outreach Tour has traveled throughout the world promoting music in schools with the three-day workshop and show. Students are given the opportunity to learn an hour-long variety show in just two days from the cast of 45 Young Americans. The idea is to energize students, teachers and the community about the importance and benefits from the performing arts through the finale show presented on the third day, while being able to raise additional funds for local fine arts programs.

This workshop is part of a three-month tour that visits schools and communities in the southern region of The United States. There are two other casts of 45 on tour during this same time frame in The United Kingdom and Japan, respectively. Sampson will direct the South Tour cast for five towns, including Slidell, Bogalusa, Ponchatoula, Milton, Fla., and Franklinton.

Sampson, a member of the The Young Americans during the ‘70s and ‘80s, serves on the YA staff as an associate director for their International Music Outreach Tours, as well as an adjunct professor with The Young Americans College of the Performing Arts in Corona, Calif., as an English composition teacher.

“I can’t begin to tell you just how important, meaningful and impactful this workshop experience will be for our kids and community,” Sampson said. “All of our kids need to do this regardless of theirs’ or anyone else’s perceived assessment of their talent. It’s not about talent. It’s about enriching our children’s lives and empowering them in a positive way.”

The cast of 45 Young Americans is comprised of college students from all over the United States as well as two international students. Sampson’s youngest daughter, Kiara, is part of this cast as well. In addition, some YA alumni that will join in the Bogalusa workshop and show include Kristina Sampson, another of Bruce Sampson’s daughters, and Annie Gambino, whose family owns Bino’s Seafood Restaurant in Bogalusa.

In working with more than 2,000 school systems, it has been apparent that schools everywhere are looking for new and creative ways to keep their fine arts programs alive and healthy. The YA’s new show, “Turn Up The Music,” is kicking off just such an opportunity for schools, as part of their campaign to raise $1 million for the schools throughout the United States in the next three years.

The registration cost is $59. The fee includes a T-shirt.

Schedule for the Bogalusa workshop at the high school theater:


3:30 p.m. — Registration

4 p.m. — Workshop begins

6 p.m. Break for dinner

9 p.m. — Workshop ends


7:45 a.m. — Student check-in

8 a.m. Workshop begins

Noon — Lunch break

6 p.m. — Workshop ends. Receive T-shirts


2 p.m. — Student check-in

2:30 p.m. — Workshop and dress rehearsal

4:30 p.m. — Dinner break

5:30 p.m. — Doors open

6 p.m. — Act 1 begins

7 p.m. — Act 2 begins

8 p.m. — Show ends