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Plant City Observer Friday, Feb. 26, 2016 2 years ago

2016 Florida Strawberry Festival: NRG

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Next Radical Generation will perform March 7.

Abby baker
Staff Intern 

Back when Next Radical Generation was a handful of nervous middle schoolers, the group had its second-ever performance on a Florida Strawberry Festival stage.

On Monday, March 7, it will be singing on that same stage for the fifth consecutive time. 

Now the group has evolved to encompass many age groups and perform at many venues.

Formed in 2011, NRG has made its rounds throughout the community as well as outside of it, including a show at the Florida State Fair.

While the group is still deciding on the details of the festival show, it will be performing for about one hour. The performers usually do a set list of positive-pop songs with coordinated dance moves, and this year is no different. 

“It’s such a high honor that the festival gives us the stage,” Yvonne Fry, NRG’s manager, said. “I’m excited to see what the future holds.” 

NRG was created to promote good character and skills in local youth. Today, while all of the original members have left, new singers are being taught something everyday. 

“My philosophy is that you can practice, practice, practice, but the only way to be a seasoned performer is to perform,” Fry said. “We’ve had people walking on stage, we’ve had a stage fall out from under us, and it should teach that if they can handle that, they can handle anything.” 

Originally one sensation, today NRG is a collection of 25 members split into four talent-level based groups. Every NRG member must be chosen from a live audition to be in the program.   

“We put on a really great show and have a lot of fun,” Fry said. “The kids are not only singing and dancing, they’re doing all the talking and transitions.”

The group’s four divisions vary from first to ninth grade. The oldest is NRG Uprising; the two middle groups are NRG Extreme and NRG Revolution; and the youngest is NRG Junior. 

The group decided to split when requests and events started to stack up.

“The oldest group did 37 shows in December,” Fry said. “When locations wanted us to perform back to back, it was intense.” 

Whether you know the group personally or are a new fan, this year will be a unique one for the youth involved as well as the audience. 

“We’ve got new performers from last year, new dance moves. It’ll be a lot of fun,” Fry said.

While this year’s festival show will be a big deal for the new performers, the group is also recording music and has recorded several music videos. 

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