“Hamilton” Star Salutes His Elementary School Music Teacher

by Marilyn Roca Enriquez in

Elementary school teachers are often unsung heroes but not for “Hamilton” creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda. On Martin Luther King Day this year, he assembled alum from the1988 to 2001 classes of Hunter College Elementary School in New York to sing a tribute to their music teacher, Barbara Ames. Miranda who is also a graduate of Hunter explained that Ames wrote the words and music to the song, “Martin Luther King,” a song that students there sang every Martin Luther King Day. “If you went to Hunter, you grew up singing this song,” Miranda said in the video. “It’s unfair that the rest of the world doesn’t know it.” After a rousing version sung by the assembled alums, Miranda led the group in a round of applause. Miranda closed his YouTube post by saying, “Ms. Ames, know that for every kid on this list, there are 10 more of your students who just couldn’t make it to NY and wanted to be there. We love you so much. Thanks for changing our lives.” Ames was moved to tears by the internet tribute, saying, “This is the greatest thing ever. I want to hug all of you and kiss all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”