No more FOMO: In case you missed it, here is what happened at Arts Night ’22

Arts

On Friday, May 13, KO students involved in the arts were able to display their talents for friends and family. Through various choral, band, and theater performances, KO’s second annual Arts Night was a success.

Similar to last year’s Arts Night, performances took place outside on the Senior Green. However, with lower rates of COVID-19, some of this year’s performances were also able to take place in Alumni Hall and Roberts Theater.

The night started off with performances by KO’s a cappella choirs: Crimson 7 and Oxfordians. Crimson 7, led by history teacher and Choral Conductor David Baker, performed “Runaround Sue” by Dion DiMucci. They also performed a Dua Lipa mashup which was arranged by Mr. Baker. Juniors Luke Roen and Johnny Kung were soloists, among others.

Next, Crimson 7 and Oxfordians combined for the first time ever to perform “Stop Just Love” by Us the Duo. Senior Amrita Natarajan performed the alto solo, while senior Nate Welsh was the tenor soloist.

Oxfordians, led by Choral Conductor Steve Mitchell, performed next. They performed “White Winter Hymnal” by Pentatonix, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall, and “Toxic” by Britney Spears. Juniors Mckenzie Campbell and Faith Potter were the soloists in “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and “Toxic,” respectively.

Next, the jazz band performed a variety of songs. Among their repertoire was “Sweet Georgia Brown” by Django Reinhart, and “Chica Bonita” by Rik Rok and Shaggy. Some of the students featured included juniors Arav Kumar and Jaedan Curcio.

After the jazz performances, students from the KO theater department gathered to perform “Getting Married Today” from the musical “Company” and “At the Ballet” from “A Chorus Line.” “Getting Married Today” featured freshman Zaire Ramiz and junior Alice McClure as Paul and Amy. They played as couple just minutes before getting married, with very different feelings about being with each other for the rest of their lives. Senior Morgan Siegel portrayed the angelic yet oblivious wedding singer.

“At the Ballet” featured juniors Jolie Flash, Mckenzie Campbell, and Alice McClure as dancers reminiscent of the escape that ballet has provided throughout their lives. Additionally, junior Bella Theodouro and sophomore Anna Tippner danced en pointe during the performance.

“I had a lot of fun performing with my friends both on stage and in the orchestra,” Bella said. Since Orchestra and Outlook performances occurred in Alumni Hall directly after the theater performances, Bella explained how she had to change out of her pointe shoes and into concert dress in a matter of minutes. “It was a busy night,” she said, “but at least it was busy with the arts.”

After Outlook’s two amazing performances, the Upper School String Orchestra had the opportunity to perform their pieces. One of their numbers, the Ukrainian National Anthem, gave them an opportunity to pay their respects to those who have been affected in Ukraine.

Although the Concert Band was expected to perform sooner, there were a few technical difficulties with the livestream camera. This set up was designed to give any friends and family at home access to the concert. 

Forced to improvise, Outlook performed a song that they only sang in the first semester, and had not recently rehearsed. Additionally, senior Samuel Merkatz, took to the stage to speak off the cuff on his experience in Outlook and working with Mr. Baker.

Mr. Baker, Mr. Mitchell, and Director of Creative Arts Todd Millen then took the opportunity to honor the soon-to-be graduating seniors with a rose, as well as a sentiment on their experience working with them and watching them grow as musicians.

After the technical issues were resolved, Concert Band took to the stage to perform their pieces. One of the pieces, titled “Motherless Child” by Shawn Okpebholo, experienced its world premiere. Jermaine Woodard Jr., a local of West Hartford, performed the baritone solo.

Not only were audience members able to hear the world premier of this song, Dr. Okpebholo also spoke about the importance of these songs directly to the audience via Zoom.

After Voce Novissima’s traditional performance of “No Time” by Susan Brumfield, they also performed a piece with Shauntice Marshall, a soprano local to West Hartford. Additionally, Outlook performed “Wade in the Water” and “The Battle of Jericho” with Ms. Marshall as the soloist.

Drawing the night to a close, students from Concert Choir, Voce, and Outlook, as well as Mr. Woodard and Ms. Marshall, all combined to perform the world premiere of “Left Foot Peg Foot” by Shawn Okpebholo. The song illustrated the importance of “the drinking gourd” in terms of the underground railroad as well as the legend of a man with a peg foot that helped guide those through the underground railroad and eventually find safety.

For their final piece, these students performed “The Storm is Passing Over” by Charles Albert Tindley. As Mr. Mitchell explained, the song’s hopeful message could be applied to this year’s Arts Night, as performances could be held indoors.

Carrying this message forward, the arts department is hopeful to continue indoor performances and return to normalcy by next year to continue the wonderful tradition of Arts Night for years to come.