On Friday, May 12, KO held its third annual Arts Night. The event allowed for students to perform in front of their families, with performances taking place at the Senior Green, Alumni Hall, and Roberts Theater. Along with musical performances, visual art students were also able to display their artwork in the gallery. With a combination of all of these performances, the 2023 Arts Night was a success.
The event began on the Senior Green, with performances by KO’s a capella choirs: Oxfordians and Crimson 7. The two groups sang a variety of songs, including “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele, “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall, and “Runaround Sue” by Dion DiMucci. The latter two songs featured seniors Mckenzie Campbell and Luke Roen as soloists.
After the a cappella performances, KO’s jazz band performed, conducted by creative arts Department Chair Todd Millen. Following the jazz band were performances from the theater department, featuring piano accompanist Susan Carol. Students from KO’s theater department performed two songs at this year’s Arts Night: “This is Not Over Yet” from the musical “Parade,” and a tap dance routine to “I’ve Got Rhythm” by George and Ira Gershwin.
The musical “Parade” is based on the real-life trial and murder of Leo Frank, a Jewish factory superintendent who was wrongfully convicted of murdering one of his employees in 1913, a conviction widely believed to be motivated by antisemitism. The musical explores the lives of Leo Frank and his wife, Lucille, as she tries to convince the public that her husband is innocent of the murder. In “This is Not Over Yet,” Leo Frank, played by freshman Leo Kollen, realizes that he still might have a chance to prove his innocence. He is joined in the song by Lucille, played by Mckenzie, who promises to stay by his side until his trial is over.
The second song, “I’ve Got Rhythm,” was noted as being a challenging piece to rehearse in the week leading up to Arts Night. “For a long time we didn’t have rhythm,” Director of theater Kyle Reynolds said in his introduction for the song, reminiscing on the hard work from the students when rehearsing the piece.
The performances from KO’s select choir Outlook and KO’s orchestra came next, which took place in Alumni Hall. Following the performances in Alumni Hall, the night concluded with a performance by the concert band in Roberts Theater. Outlook also returned to perform two more pieces in Robert’s Theater, including “I Gondolieri” and “O What a Beautiful City.”
This year’s Arts Night was a fun experience for the students who participated in the event. It could be hectic at times, however, with how the event was arranged. “I know a lot of us that were in multiple performances were scrambling to change and get to our different things,” sophomore Zaire Ramiz said, who performed in Crimson 7, Outlook, and the theater performances. “Every performance happened, which was good, but it definitely was hectic.”
Arts Night, overall, is a fun experience to celebrate the creative arts at KO. With this year’s Arts Night being a success, we’re excited to see what the creative arts department has in store for the event in the following years.