Thanksgiving Feast and Talent Show, ‘17
Eat, sing, and shred guitar leads – that’s how Mid-Pen celebrates Thanksgiving the day before taking off for the holiday weekend. But of course there were other kinds of performance on this day, with students taking the talent show as an opportunity to recite poetry, rap original songs, and perform some pretty dramatic spoken word. Our students, and even a few adults, put on some stellar performances that entertained us all as we enjoyed each other’s fellowship on a day that is most of all about gratitude.
Alynna Vilchez ’19 and Miguel Najar ’19 kicked off the event, entering the gym to the Rocky theme song and worthily performing their MC duties with polish and good humor. After Period 7 performed Tides and Scarecrow flawlessly, Jeannessa Lurie ’19, Kylie Casal ’21, and Angus Fong ’20 played an original song by Jeannessa. Jeannessa’s song, Goodbye, is both powerfully emotional and well crafted – Jeannessa’s writing and performance skills continue to improve each and every time she takes the stage!
The event took a ‘turn for the word’ when the poetry club, consisting of Nathan Cooper ’19, David Oliver (science teacher), and Jeannessa took the stage. Nathan took a meta approach to poetry by pointing out the cliché, and often trite, elements that can typically be found in poetic endeavors. Jeannessa took a more traditional route, with a poem that symbiotically paired the emotions she expressed with the rhythm of her lines.
Hannah Lee then took the stage to sing along with a starkly beautiful piano line. Hannah’s voice resonated wonderfully with her recorded accompaniment, creating a hauntingly beautiful atmosphere in a space that typically hosts pickup basketball games. Our first adult to perform, Alan Cameron (history teacher), gave a seriously grave, dramatic reading of one of the most textured and unnerving literary pieces of our time, Dr. Seuss’s stirring epic, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish – ‘twas a riveting moment that shook us all to the core.
Alan is always a hard act to follow, but Annika Benton ’21 rose to the occasion by singing a song from Wander over Yonder, a Disney animated series. Annika brought both depth and sparkle to the song she bravely adapted for our celebration. Next up, Sarah McKinley took the stage to basically become Mid-Pen’s version of Adele, lending her soulful voice to an old classic made new by Sarah’s performance – we can’t wait to hear her voice more in the future!
Next, Mid-Pen’s most elite musicians, Studio Ensemble, captivated our community with a blazing version of Fleetwood Mac’s, You Can Go Your Own Way. The world was definitely ready for all of the sound of Fleetwood Max minus all the legendary drama of the 1970’s act.
Period 6 Ensemble was up next, treating us all to their terrific rendition of Unsteady, a song originally performed by the band X Ambassadors. And yes, we got treated to an original rap song by our very own Ruby NEW (AKA Rebecca Newman ’19). Rebecca, I mean Ruby, dazzled as always, using the rap genre to explore the sometimes tumultuous but ultimately joyful ups and downs that often characterize adolescent life – Rebecca truly gets how her art can change and motivate lives!
The final chapter of our Thanksgiving Feast and Talent Show was brought to us courtesy of some of our musically talented adults. The Faculty Band ripped through Tom Petty’s The Waiting, which proved to be a great tribute to the life of a great American songwriter and performer. Most notably though, our current Head of School, Phil, and our former Head of School, Doug, came together to perform a pair of Beatles songs, If I fell and You Won’t See Me. As they harmonized together, we were all reminded of how harmonious the transition between our leaders has been. We are so fortunate to have such talented, wise, warm-hearted people serving back-to-back at Mid-Pen. And for that, we are so grateful! We hope you have an abundance of blessings to be grateful for this holiday break. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!