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'Hamilton' Cast Member Rehearses With CAPA Students Ahead Of Museum Opening Gala

By Hadas Kuznits and Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia concert choir was given the opportunity of a lifetime when a Broadway star stopped by their rehearsal to give them some pointers.

Actor Sydney James Harcourt, who played Aaron Burr in the original Broadway cast of 'Hamilton,' was in town to help the Philly concert choir prep for the gala of the Philadelphia Museum of the American Revolution on April 8.

"The museum is having an opening, and the event producer heard me sing in New York and he asked me if I would like to be interested in being a part of this," Harcourt explained. "And I would love to be a part of this. Are you kidding me? A lot of this has to be done with backup vocals, and instead of recording them, I thought is there a local school we could work with."

The songs they'll sing are straight from the musical Hamilton, and they are sight-reading the music for the first time in the choir room, but they're surely familiar.

"I just love Hamilton... and getting this experience is a great thrill for me," said one student.

But most starstruck of them all was CAPA principal Joanne Beaver.

"To have him here, yes! I am totally starstruck," Beaver said. "He's so dreamy!"

Harcourt explained that what will give their rendition of Hamilton's music, It's Heart, will be their knowledge of our country's story and the minds of the time.

"It's their understanding of it that communicates with the audience, rather than 'this is just a song, we have a point of view' in every moment, and knowing those points of view enriches them and the listener," said Harcourt.

And when you sing into the ears of your audience, you've got to give it all you got.

"There is no room for a lot of 'oh I was off my game today,'" said Harcourt. "Applying yourself in every moment to the best of your abilities is what I can pass along from my time from school choir to Carnegie Hall."

The students will perform with Harcourt at the Museum of the American Revolution's opening gala on April 8. The two dozen students participating in the performance are volunteering their time as the museum gala falls on a Saturday during their spring break.

Harcourt also will be performing at the museum's grand opening ceremony on April 19 where former Vice President Joe Biden will also be on stage speaking.

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