ESJH alumnus tours with ‘Motown’

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — Trey McCoy, a 2013 alumnus of East St. John High School, has been on the road since October, traveling to new cities each week to perform for crowds in “Motown: the Musical.”

Tonight, he’ll sing his heart out in South Carolina. By Friday, he’ll be in Connecticut, continuing the roles of Temptation Eddie Kendricks, Jr. Walker, Contour, Commodore and Smokey Robinson’s understudy.

The tour concludes June 28 in Virginia, and McCoy said the experience has been a whirlwind of excitement.

After graduating in musical theater from Montclair University in 2017, McCoy searched for roles while working at a theme park. Less than a week after “Motown: the Musical” auditions, McCoy was knee deep in rehearsals, preparing for opening night.

“Some weeks, we’re in two cities,” McCoy said. “It’s been exciting to travel to all these different places, cities I’ve never imagined going to.”

He enjoyed San Diego’s beautiful weather and positive vibe. Along the travel route, cast mates have become a family drawn together by musical theater.

McCoy said his St. John the Baptist Parish family has encouraged him every step of the way.

Trey McCoy

“I’ve always had a supportive family, both immediate and extended,” McCoy said. “It’s great to feel the love and support, especially coming from a small town where it’s not the norm to reach beyond and take a different path in life.”

During his freshman year of college, McCoy and his mother watched “Motown: the Musical” and were enthralled by the story of Motown founder Berry Gordy, the man responsible for launching music careers that shaped America.

McCoy’s fascination with musical theater traces back to his elementary days at Ascension of Our Lord, when Missoula Children’s Theatre would visit and put on plays.

His passion truly picked up when he attended performing arts school NOCCA.

Rising Star Baptist Church Pastor Donald August Sr. has known McCoy since he sang in children’s choir, and said his success in musical theater is no surprise.

“I think he always knew what he wanted out of life,” August said. “He was very focused on going to college and majoring in the field he’s in now.”

According to August, McCoy remained driven and respectful even while struggling with the passing of his father, Thomas McCoy, a former deacon at Rising Star Baptist Church.

In his theater biography, McCoy dedicates his performances to his father.

Moving forward, McCoy hopes to secure roles in more musicals, and encourages others to reach for the stars.

“Anything is possible,” McCoy said. “Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, no matter how big they are. It’s OK to be you, even if you don’t fit the norm.”