By Adrianna Iorio, Clarion Staff
On Friday, December 15, 2017 in the auditorium, Kennedy seniors David Hom and Gabriella Herrera-Griffe held JFK’s annual senior showcase event as part of their senior project.
Senior Showcase is an event in which students from John F. Kennedy come together to demonstrate their unique and expressive talents. However, this year the performers were prominently singers and the crowd was smaller in size in comparison to previous years. Despite the performances not stretching as wide a variety and the overall size of the crowd being minor, the performers gave the audience an amazing show.
The night started with Billy Hernandez singing and playing “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell on the ukulele. After a couple minutes of struggling to get audio working, Hernandez put on a fantastic performance. His smile and commentary throughout the song made the audience’s heart melt, resulting in a loud round of applause from everyone.
Throughout the night many talented artists performed, including Harrison Arakawa, Sarif Morningstar, and Saba Tesfay. Favorites included cousins Samuel Tran and Dalena To, singing “Tomorrow Never Came” by Lana Del Rey.
“My favorite performance had to be the cousins singing ‘Tomorrow Never Came’. I really enjoyed her singing and the guy was amazing at playing guitar,” said Calyn Mims-Wesley.
“I feel great, you know I think it’s a great thing for us to express our talents not just to ourselves, but everyone else as well,” Samuel Tran said, pleased after his performance.
Another highlight of the night included freshman Touzong Thao singing “Chandelier” by Sia. Being the only freshman of the night, Thao was intimidated but pulled through, “I feel astonished—it’s just so nerve-wracking up there and having people in the crowd cheering you on. I loved it.”
Thao’s impressive high notes as well as confident aura made the audience fall in love with his performance.
School counselor Mr. Drotts put a unique performance together. Mistaking Senior Showcase for a senior citizen performance venue, he presented two songs: “Runnin’ Down a Dream” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers alongside the traditional “Silent Night”, one of his favorites. He was as nervous as any other performer, but was very excited overall.
Alongside the talented singers, members from Kennedy’s high school band and color guard performed. Eulia Keomany and Melody Quintana performed a beautiful duet on the saxophone and piano, respectively, performing “Turning Tables” by Adele. Kennedy drumline seniors performed an original percussion arrangement. The Brass Band, started by Antonio Novoa-Castillo, performed “Blues for Ben”.
“It was a lot of fun for them, I saw them grooving and everything, and everything clicked—it was nice,” Novoa-Castillo said.
Brass Band started last year, but this year everything really came together; Senior Showcase was their fifth public performance this semester. Antonio originally started the band as a fun thing to do, but now it’s his senior project.
Despite the majority of the performances being related to singing, diverse performances may have been limited but did take place. Shelby Wong performed a Hawaiian dance called, “Ipo Lei Momi” and Katrina Concepcion played a Disney melody on the piano. Kennedy’s color guard- Kristi Wong, Megan Chan, and Destinee Thrasher, even showed off their flag work and weaponry in a song called “Hi” by Psapp.
Overall Senior Showcase was a success. It had humor, with Hannah Dieckmann’s and Ivy Wang’s repetitive jokes through breaks, as well as Ellis Penn’s unicycle riding and saxophone playing during random moments. David Hom in student government is currently using it as his senior project. Despite Hom suggesting there was some room for improvement, he thought it was an overall success. The money raised is going to senior ball, which will take place April 13th.