Still Crazy After All of These Years- The McClancy Tyros turn 50!


Ricky Hubert

When I first came to McClancy upon my freshman orientation, I knew one of the first things I would have to do was join the Drama Club. I was so fortunate during my time at McClancy to take part in two wonderful productions “Oliver!” in my freshman year as well as “Rock of Ages” this past spring. Thus, when I found out that this fall marks the 50th anniversary of McClancy putting on its first musical production I felt it would be the perfect piece to conclude my newspaper career with.

Ahead of the opening night of “Rock of Ages,” I sat down with longtime musical director for the Tyros; Brother Joseph Rocco. It was actually Brother Joe’s idea of doing musicals  at McClancy! He asked the moderator of the club at the time if they could put on a musical since he played piano. Much to Brother Joe’s delight, he was met with a resounding yes and in the fall of ‘72. McClancy put on “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” Now as for the name the Tyros, that was the brainchild of a man that Brother Joe worked with on the tyros named Mr Vincent Kane. The name was developed the following year and used to describe a “beginning actor.” With that, the Tyros were born. Mr. Kane’s legacy continues with the Tyros through the Vincent Kane Memorial Award, an award I was humbly honored to receive for my work in “Rock of Ages” this year. 

“Jesus Christ Superstar” was one of the musicals that was initially tossed around as the first musical for McClancy to put on. The show is one of the greatest rock musicals to ever grace the Broadway stage, so how fitting to commemorate this momentous 50th anniversary we put on one of the great rock musicals “Rock of Ages.” The show this past spring was a tremendous success with nearly sold out performances and standing ovations every night. Even Dee Snider, of Twisted Sister Fame sent the cast, crew, and band a message of well wishes ahead of opening night! Of course, the production would not have been possible without another one of Brother Joe’s former partners in theatrical crime, current Tyros and Choir moderator as well as STEAM coordinator Ms. Ann Smith. Ms. Smith has obviously left her own indelible mark on the Tyros by incorporating students into the band, her trademark post show speech acknowledging EVERY SINGLE student that worked on each show (#nosmallparts), and established the tradition of the Tyros singing at a New York Mets game annually.

Ms. Smith called this past spring’s production of “Rock of Ages” as “one of the best experiences of my (her) life and she will never forget it.” She also cites “The Odd Couple,” “One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Godspell,” and “Oliver!” As those that are “near and dear to her heart.” In fact, when signing my yearbook Ms. Smith included my big numbers that I got to perform in all three shows I was involved with during my time as a Tyro

 I am so thrilled to have been a part of the Tyros these past few years and have made so many wonderful friends! I can truly tell you from personal experience that there is nothing else better in the world than being in a show. I am most grateful to Brother Joe, the late Mr. Kane, Ms. Smith, Mr. Savocca, and everyone who has made the Tyros the great success they have been over the last 50 years. They have allowed myself and so many others the opportunity to perform on stage, and have the time of our lives both on and off of it.


Cheers to the next 50!