Left to right: freshman Coral John performs with junior Stella Berlin and freshman Lilly Zucker.
Left to right: freshman Coral John performs with junior Stella Berlin and freshman Lilly Zucker.
Grace Sykes

Performance Workshop shines in dance-worthy concert

On Friday, March 22, the Archie Williams Music Performance Workshop (PW) class hosted its March Concert in the Little Theater from 7-9 p.m. The class’ third performance of the year displayed five new bands, each with their own aura and sound. Each band played four to five songs, more consecutive songs than any PW bands have played at past concerts this year.

When forming bands for each seasonal concert, PW teacher Mario Aparicio brings student musicians together in groups of his choosing. Aparicio’s vision for the March Concert worked flawlessly with most bands, especially in the vocalist groups of Band 4 and Band 5.

Sophomore vocalists Hannah Janson and Julia Wise perform with senior guitarist Finn Cieply. (Grace Sykes)

The show opened with Band 1 performing a melodic cover of “Higher” by Creed. The lead vocalist and pianist of the song, senior Ethan Morris, sang with spectacular vocals, catching the attention of the audience. Ethan was the only male vocalist of the night which was perfect for covering male artist solos. 

The drummers, senior Colton Renga and sophomore Mason O’Byrne, rotated instruments between songs, with Mason also playing bass and Colton also playing guitar. Senior vocalist and bassist Eleanor Coffey also displayed her multifaceted musical talents. Band 1 wins the title of most musical polymaths, as they boast four musicians who have two positions in the band: Ethan, Colton, Mason, and Eleanor.

Band 2 opened with bold acapella notes from sophomore vocalist duo Ivy White and Greek Feeney. The band exuded a powerful rock vibe, and the members dressed the part, with funky hair and stylish skirts to match. Band 2’s performance of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” woke the audience up with the most high-powered song of the evening. While most bands played a variety of different years of music, Band 2 stuck to covers from the 1970s, giving them a distinct retro sound.

Junior drummer Ellis Lynch performs “Denim & Diamonds” with Band 3. (Grace Sykes)

Band 3 began with only one vocalist, freshman Lilly Zucker, on stage for the first song, “Fool in the Rain,” by Led Zeppelin. Junior vocalist Stella Berlin joined them onstage for the second song, “Still Beating,” by Mac Demarco. Unfortunately, the microphone settings were low enough that audiences found it difficult to hear Stella’s voice at first. She made up for the lack of initial volume as the songs went on and the microphone reset to a higher level, and in the end her beautiful voice blended perfectly, and her solos were emotional and distinct. 

Freshman vocalist Coral John joined Band 3’s vocalist group for the final songs, singing a magnificent cover with Stella of Nikki Lane’s “Denim & Diamonds,” a country song with a mysterious vintage feel. Stella’s vocal tone perfectly embodied the subtly Western sound of the song.

Band 4 featured a vocalist-sister duo, freshman Gipsy Gregor, and junior Stella Gregor. The Gregor sisters took the stage with a personable presence, especially shining while entertaining the audience as the crew fixed a technology malfunction. During this time, Gipsy and Stella asked the audience members to tell jokes and made light of the situation. 

Junior bassist Noah Casey performs with Band 5 on March 22. (Grace Sykes)

Band 4’s performance of Jeff Beck’s “Let Me Love You” was mesmerizing. The vocalists had incredible euphonic voices that blended seamlessly, along with impressive instrumentals. Particularly prominent was the string section, thanks to the guitarists, junior Elliot Garneau and sophomore Finn Donnelley, as well as junior bassist Noah Casey

The entire band danced on stage, exuding a fun, natural stage presence that exhibited their talent and unity. Band 4 was the only band to play an original song, “Holding On to You,” which could have easily been mistaken for a song by an icon such as Amy Winehouse.

Before the final band took to the stage, Aparicio gave a heartwarming speech about his first year at Archie Williams with the students, sharing how much he adores them.

 “I’ve been looking forward to this my whole life, to be a high school teacher, and it’s crazy,” Aparicio said. 

The final band, Band 5, was the largest, consisting of nine members. The closing band stood out as the only group to include a tambourinist, sophomore Jamie Lapic, and a bells player, senior Gabby Covello, which brought a fresh sound. Vocalists, including senior Casey Sorensen, sophomore Hanna Janson, and sophomore Julia Wise conjured a sound resembling ABBA. This rhythm was well suited to their performance of ABBA’s “Super Trouper,” in which Hanna’s echoing harmonies created a masterful layered sound. Their final song, “Separate Ways,” by Journey, had the audience dancing in their seats wanting to hear more.

Left to right: Senior saxophonist Jackson McFerron performs along with junior saxophonist Roy Quass and sophomore trombonist Ryan Cunningham. (Grace Sykes)

The Archie Williams Jazz Band horn players, with junior Roy Quaas on the alto saxophone, sophomore Ryan Cunningham on the trombone, and senior Jackson McFerron on the tenor saxophone and flute, joined Band 3, Band 4, and Band 5 for certain songs, jazzing things up. The collaboration of students from different programs bringing their talents together provided an inspirational experience.

From swanky outfits to colored LED lights, the PW March Concert was a smash hit that felt like a real Friday night out. The class’ upcoming end-of-year concert in May is a must for everyone to put on their calendar.

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