Student Features

Musical Theatre to Take Center Stage for Freshman

Koree Woodley-Adjei ’20 sings at her high school graduation.

MCLA is pleased to offer this story, part of a series of student profiles about our Class of 2020. We are proud to introduce just a few of the many accomplished and diverse students who belong to this distinctive group, as we discover more about them, their hopes, their dreams, and their goals for the future as they begin their MCLA careers.

For the past four years, Koree Woodley-Adjei ’20 of New York City, N.Y., has been an active member of the Harlem Vocal Ensemble. At MCLA, she looks forward to joining the Allegrettos a cappella group, the sign language and filmmaking clubs, the Black Student Union, and maybe even the women’s lacrosse team!

Although that might seem like a lot, this fine and performing arts major says she’s used to spreading herself thin: as part of the Harlem Vocal Ensemble, she served as a section leader, co-musical director and choreographer. As a student at the Harlem School of the Arts, she participated in dance, music, theatre, sculpting, photography and also poetry, which she continues to write.

Woodley-Adjei also served on the spoken word committee in her church, and played goalie on her high school lacrosse team. At MCLA, she looks forward to learning more about music, including its history. Concentrating on music also will allow her to play the piano, she said.  

As a high school student, “The arts allowed me to express myself in ways common core subjects couldn’t,” Woodley-Adjei explained. “Being on stage and performing in front of large crowds has allowed me to accept myself and become completely exposed and open to others.”

While she originally planned to attend another school, once she visited MCLA, “I fell in love and didn’t want to leave. … I plan to allow my bubbly personality to shine through.”

After college, she envisions herself in Broadway musicals. She attended the Bank Street Summer Camp: Musical Theatre and played a goddess in the musical Once on this Island. As part of the Aquila Shakespeare Theatre Company, she participated in a production of Romeo and Juliet.

Eventually, she’d like to create a musical theatre company in Harlem for youth aged 7 to 21.

Many schools in New York City – especially public schools – don’t teach children to be themselves outside of math, science and history, she explained. By building a musical theatre company, Woodley-Adjei aims to allow those who aren’t able to express themselves through traditional coursework to utilize the arts to show the world who they are.

At MCLA, she looks forward to “really seeing who I am. … College changes people for the best, and I know I will become a better person.”

Although she loves New York City with its many different cultures, ethnicities, languages and opportunities, she looks forward to the change of pace North Adams will provide, and to meeting the people who live here.

“People say, ‘Good things come in small packages,’” she said. “I believe that North Adams will have great opportunities for me.”

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