Dr. Harriton 2021: Interview With Ty & Josh


Belsem Aljobory, Staff Writer

Dr. Harriton, an integral part of the Harriton community and its culture, is a talent show that is put on every year to support a chosen local non-profit through the eight student contestants and their sponsors.

Year after year, the show has been a hit, with nearly the entire school showing out to see an amazing event and dazzling performance. In this interview, Ty Nagvajara (who is also the Banner’s executive editor) and Josh Millrood talk about their experiences with Dr. Harriton and how their older siblings were some of the many that inspired them to become a part of this decades-long tradition. Here’s what they had to say about the show: 

The Harriton Banner: How would you describe Dr. Harriton? 

Ty Nagvajara: It’s really hard to pin it down as one thing; it’s sort of a combination of a talent show, dance recital, and a fundraiser. All in all, the show is most importantly about community and for everyone that is new to Harriton, it is an incredible opportunity to feel connected to the school, even though this year will be through a mostly virtual setting.

Josh Millrood: Dr. Harriton is pretty much a talent show but it’s different because in a normal talent show you just want to win, and obviously all the contestants want to win Dr. Harriton, but it’s more about becoming friends with everyone in the show, and the experiences and bonds you make.

THB: What was your first experience with Dr. Harriton? 

JM: My first real experience was going to the show as a freshman, but when I was a sophomore my brother was in the show so I kind of knew what was going to happen and that’s why I wanted to join the show.

TN: My brother was also in the show during my freshman year, so that was the first time I got to see it. I was definitely interested when he was doing it and then I knew it was going to be something that I would want to do later in my high school experience. 

THB: How would you describe your expectations for the show, behind the scenes, versus the reality of doing it?

JM: It’s everything that I expected and more in a way…. I expected it to be hard and it definitely is…. I also expected to make new friends and make new bonds but I’m becoming closer with those people than I originally imagined. 

TN: Yeah, I definitely agree with Josh. I wasn’t sure about the group dynamic or how we would work as a whole in terms of working on the dances or just hanging out; it definitely exceeded my expectations because everyone gets along really well and even though there are different grades and people who aren’t usually in the same social circles or classes, I think it is really a time to put aside those differences. For most of us, it’s one of our last high school experiences, so it’s cool that we can all come together. 

THB: Why did you decide to participate in Dr. Harriton?

JM: I was always planning to do it since my brother did it. In general, I knew that everyone who’s done it—not just my brother—said it was the best experience and I knew that if my friends and other people I’m close with liked it, that it would be the same thing for me. 

TN: I knew it would be a great experience. Outside of school, I used to dance at a studio, and with COVID, I haven’t been able to dance or just collaborate with others in a performance, so I saw this as an opportunity to do that and share a stage with a bunch of other people. 

THB: Each Dr. Harriton contestant needs a sponsor that helps donate to a large nonprofit. Where are you in that process? 

JM: Ty, do you know what the charities are? 

TN: Yeah! It’s Philabundance and another. [The Lower Merion Township Scholarship Fund] 

JM: Yes, Philabundance. Most of the contestants have been calling small and local businesses asking if they’re willing to sponsor and give money and if they are, then that’s what goes on the back of your shirt and goes to charities. 

THB: What is one Dr. Harriton performance that you will always remember?

TN: Besides my brother’s, probably Andy Wu’s from last year. Even though a lot of people play an instrument as their talent, the way he did it with engaging the audience and having us do a Kahoot game was really impressive. 

JM: When we were sophomores, there was a kid named Matt Pearl and he blew through these wind tubes and it was a really cool experience because no one was expecting that so when he did that it was mind-blowing for everyone. 

Being a part of something larger for your community does not just allow you to come out of your comfort zone, but it also makes long-lasting friendships and memories as described by both Ty and Josh. After the uncertainty of whether or not the show was to happen, students jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Dr. Harriton. Make sure to watch Josh, Ty, and the other contestants of Dr. Harriton this year on May 21! Get excited Harriton!