Milton Hershey School Students Perform at Hershey Bears Opener
Members of the school’s Senior Division band and New Horizons choir performed in front of an audience of 10,570, the largest GIANT Center crowd for a home hockey opener since the 2006-07 campaign. The students’ performances added extra energy to an already action-packed evening. The 12-time Calder Cup Champions Hershey Bears raised their 2023 championship banner before the opening face-off against the Belleville Senators.
“There were several people who said good luck to the band prior to the performance and I appreciate those who cheered us on as if we were a part of the game,” said MHS sophomore and band member Delaney Budzina. “They made such a large audience feel much less intimidating and I’m grateful for the opportunity we had to attend the game and cheer on the Bears in the process.”
MHS students often sit in the GIANT Center stands, looking down on the Bears and cheering for them as they play. For senior New Horizons choir member Noah Gibbs, looking up at the crowd was surreal.
“Being on the ice totally flips the script. I felt so small on the ice, but I was playing such a big part,” Noah said.
New Horizons member Nicole Heydemann also appreciated the unique experience only MHS students can experience.
“The reaction of the crowd was uplifting and though I was anxious backstage, the pressure dissipated when I stepped onto the ice,” she said. You could feel the welcoming and eager energy from the crowd and it really helped me and my fellow group mates to put on a phenomenal performance.”
The New Horizons Choir and Senior Division band are two of several performing groups the school’s VPA program offers. MHS students in all grade levels take advantage of a wealth of expert instruction. The school covers the cost of instruments, equipment, and lessons.
Hershey entity partners, such as the Bears, and the greater Hershey community provide many exciting opportunities for MHS students. The entire Hershey Entertainment and Resorts team—including the Bears—supports the school through building personal relationships and mentoring, offering paid internships for students and recent graduates, volunteering at campus events, attending MHS athletic and performing arts events, and offering career-focused programming.