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Touring Talent spreads joy to Andrus on Hudson

Eli Rubinson

Eli Rubinson

Annie Rubinson, Blogger

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        The affinity groups, student performance ensembles, and cultural clubs at Masters all have their own way of spreading the activity of their meetings to a larger community. Touring Talent, one of Masters’ oldest clubs, actively pursues this in an especially meaningful way. By spending each of their monthly meetings performing for the residents of Andrus On Hudson, the local retirement home in Dobbs Ferry, New York, the members of Touring Talent spread joy to those in need. 

        Touring Talent is made up of a tight-knit group of students from all grades, who share a passion for community service and performing. Their mission is to spread kindness to the Andrus residents by entertaining them with a show composed of songs, poems, magic tricks, and more. However, contrary to the title, the focus of the club is not to ‘be talented’, but to engage with the residents and form meaningful relationships through the monthly visits.

        Dylan Douglas ’18, a co-president of the club, attended his first Touring Talent event as a freshman, partly as a favor to a friend who was the president at the time. Not knowing what was in store, he was blown away by the quality of his experience. “It was kind of a happy accident,” he said. “From that point on I fell in love with the club, and I’ve been going ever since.” Both him and Matthew Friedman ’18, the other co-president, were so inspired by the club and developed such a strong connection with it that they became co-presidents the following year.

Touring Talent is a unique experience that greatly impacts everyone who attends–Friedman reveals that his favorite part of Touring Talent creating memories from each visit to the Andrus nursing home. “Everyone comes out of Touring Talent with a story that they’ll never forget,” he said. The co-presidents then included that they’ll always remember the time when they, along with their band, arrived at a Touring Talent event with a full set of band equipment but forgot all of the cables needed to amplify themselves.

“I love talking to the people,” Chase Markoff, junior, said, sharing his favorite part of the club. “Last Touring Talent I met a guy named Andy [pictured above] who’s one of the most interesting guys I’ve ever met,” he said. “We had a good talk and I saw joy and positivity beam off of him.”

Touring Talent’s most recent trip to Andrus on Hudson was this past Friday, January 19. Friedman describes this particular trip as one of the most meaningful so far: “On this Touring Talent, the audience was really into us–I saw people singing along and communicating with us on a personal level,” he said.

        After three years of co-presidency, Douglas and Friedman share their final goals for the club before graduation. “Our goal is to get all of the seniors who are going to graduate to come to at least one touring talent,” Friedman said. He also said he wanted to reiterate that the importance of the club is less about the performance and more about service. The members of Touring Talent are even planning on expanding to other nursing homes in the New York area in coming events, including the retirement facility where Markoff’s grandmother currently lives.

“It’s just one hour of your day that makes their month,” Douglas said. “Everyone is missing out if they don’t go.” The next Touring Talent event will occur in February, stay tuned for more details!

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Touring Talent spreads joy to Andrus on Hudson