Once again, the talents of the High School performing arts students were on display the evening of May 30, much to the delight of an audience of families, Ross faculty and staff, and fellow students. This final High School concert of the year featured the Jazz Band, members of the World Dance elective class, the Chorus, dancers from the Ballet elective, students in the African Drumming elective, as well as solo performances on violin, piano, trombone and an individual Michael Jackson study/performance.
Students in the electives courses have been working all trimester on routines for the concert. In World Dance, they learned and performed two dances complete with colorful and beautiful (and sometimes jingling) ethnic costumes: “Kpan Logo” (a Ghanaian welcome dance) and “Hasret-Hasret,” a traditional Middle Eastern dance. Five ballerinas enacted a short ballet depicting the moments before an audition in “The Waiting Room.” And the African Drumming students closed out the concert with the stirring rhythms of “Anye” and “Graduation Rhythm” before being joined by vocalists for “Oye Como Va” and “Dancing Machine.”
Composed of five seniors, two sophomores, and a freshman, the Jazz Band showed its depth and maturity with performances of “We See,” “Little Suede Shoes,” “Perdido,” and “Bésame Mucho,” the latter two featuring senior Sofia Kriger on vocals. The Chorus contributed lovely renditions of “Down in the Valley,” “You Raise Me Up” (accompanied by an emotionally moving slideshow of students with the friends and family they consider their support system), and the contemporary One Direction hit “What Makes You Beautiful.”
In place of the Chamber Ensemble this trimester, student musicians performed solo pieces. Junior Shuhei Nakagaki lip-synched and danced to Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror,” bearing a striking resemblance in style to the King of Pop himself. Freshman Mairead Aripotch played “Sarabande” on violin, and senior Dana Kang performed “Place to Be” on the piano. Freshman Katie Morgan introduced some technological interest by performing “Escape Artist” on trombone, using a loop station to record phrases of music as she played them, then replaying them repeatedly while accompanying herself with new, complementary phrases. She was even able to incorporate various percussion instruments into this “trombone” solo.
As the last concert of their high school years, the evening was clearly bittersweet for the seniors on the stage, as it was for their teachers and family members. But they can take pride in the strength of their performances and the knowledge that they have produced memories they will treasure for many years to come.