ruBy Chloe Frantzis
Managing Editor of Arts
Many South students have probably been to a South Stage production, or a band concert, or a Candy Corn or Newtones production. But there is a whole other world of South musical and artistic talent that few students are aware exists.
This past Friday night, a celebration of music and all artistic people took place in the auditorium. Happy Birthday Mozart: An Evening Of Eclectic Entertainment was a collaboration of jazz, rock, punk, South Asian, and a cappella musical groups. Taking place on Mozart’s actual birthday, the night was full of happiness and spirit.
President of Euphonic and senior Abby Lass came up with the idea of the concert as a way to kickstart the newly formed club.
“We got our official status as a school club just a few months ago, and we knew we wanted to kick off our South tenure with something big, so the solution was this concert!”
Lass and Euphonic have been preparing for this event since the summer, but the idea of getting other groups involved came a little later in the process.
“It became an important thing to me– the idea of getting a lot of different South groups involved, Lass said. “I think there are the groups everyone knows at South, but then if you just go to Reflections, or Tea Barn,you get a whole new brand of talent.”
All these different outlets for music and art really highlight the sheer talent and passion many South students have for the arts. As Lass explains, “it’s amazing– the caliber and talent of the musicians we have here at South.”
The house opened promptly at 7 pm, with free baked goods for anyone who got a $5 ticket. Near the door, the student-run magazine “Out of Style” was being handed out, while the two creators, Adam Baker and Harry De Vries stood nearby. Once inside the auditorium, the first 15 minutes of the night consisted of a slideshow of photos and artwork from students at South while catchy tunes, such as “Twist and Shout” by the Beatles played in the background. This quirky yet lively atmosphere set the exciting and positive mood that followed the night.
As the light dimmed, teachers Corey Davison and Sam Lee took the stage as the MC’s of the night. They opened wit some witty jokes and though it took a while to get the crowd laughing, once the audience realized how engaging the performance was going to be, everyone quickly joined in on the humor.
Although Davison and Lee are commonly seen helping out with many school productions, most notably the Faculty Variety Show, this particular performance really spoke to Division.
“I have a background in theater,” he said. “My family runs a performing arts school in New Hampshire, and I did theater a lot growing up, so when I found out Abby Lass wanted to put on a show with just bands and music playing, I thought a) that’s the kind of thing I really want to be involved with and it is something our school really needs more of, and b) that’s something I can help her with, because I know who to talk to, and what paperwork to fill out, the kinds of things you might have to consider– just basically helping her with the things she might overlook.”
However, Davison quickly figured out how eager and capable the student organizers were.
”As it turns out, Abby Lass doesn’t overlook anything because she’s a super competent person so I pretty much have been here to make sure all the boxes have been checked,” he explained.
The first act of the night involved two guitarists, juniors Eli Beutel and Sam Marks, and junior drummer Joey Lourant, accompanied by a North singer named Clark Rubinstein. They opened with a stunning version of “Hallelujah,” and then proceeded with another blast-from-the-past melody. The night then went on a continuous uphill from there. Davison and Lee came back out and did some amazing slam poetry, and countless other musical groups got their chance to perform, such as Euphonic, SASA, and a student-teacher band (with Davison on drums).
“I think that one thing that our school is missing is just ample opportunities to do things as a school just because they are fun– not because they are raising money, or part of a competition, or because you’re going to be graded on it– just because it is a fun thing to do,” Davison said, reflecting on the goal of the concert. “This [performance] one of those things– it’s just a bunch of student bands and music groups coming together.”
One of the main objectives of this concert– besides introducing a new a cappella group and just having an amazing time– was to expand school spirit.
“I think that as a school, if we do things just because they are fun each year, that’s how we create tradition,” Davison said. “I think it is generally positive for student and school health– it can be something students look forward to.”
Lass, who agrees with Davison’s idea of adding to school spirit, really just wanted to “give these students a place to show the world how much talent they really have.” Clearly that goal was met.
Overall, the night was a huge success, and provided unique but unforgettable music to an audience unwilling to go home even after the final curtain fell.
Check out some of the performances from the concert here.