By Olek P.
On the evening of April 16th, an event was held in the Drama room at Westmount Charter School’s mid-high campus, titled the “Evening for Applause”. A showcase of the incredible talent the students at our school possess, each performance was “dedicated to someone who has changed, inspired, or moved the performers”, according to the official program for the event. The majority of performances showcased musical talent, either vocally or instrumentally, though there were a number of videos as well, along with some poetry. The event was organized and hosted by Avalon S., Carolyn W., Mauro G., and Ellerie B, with assistance from, Zoe L., Sahill G, Natalie C., Elliot H., Katie C., Hyacinth W., Namrata S., Selena K, Richad L., along with the technical team, consisting of Reuben K., Peter H., and Chris V. The event started at seven PM, and ended at roughly ten PM.
The show started with our hosts, Carolyn and Mauro, introducing the first performance of the night, Mr. Byron’s Grade Seven drummers. The seven-strong team performed “Faces”, an original composition. Mr. Byron dedicated the song to “all the people in those pictures”, as a slideshow of his past students played together with the music. Following that percussive performance, Bella S. beautifully played “Silent Moon” on the piano, dedicating it to her grandmother. Next was the violin trio of Tristan, Noah, and Parnika, and their song, “Lover’s Waltz”, was dedicated to “all the music teachers who make the world a better place, one step at a time”. The song was expertly performed, and several members of the audience found it moving. After the performance, when questioned, Tristan said that he was very happy with his performance, as he should have been! Further interviewing revealed that he had played the violin for eight years, which showed in the performance. Succeeding the trio of violinists were brothers John and Noah H., playing on the piano, “Charlie Brown” and “Axel F”, respectively. John’s performance was dedicated to his piano instructor, who also happens to be his uncle, while Noah’s was dedicated to his supportive father. Afterwards was Maya K., singing “I Believe”, by Nikki Yanofsky, and dedicated it to her voice teachers and Yanofsky herself. Only part way into the first act, and already the audience was highly impressed.
The sixth performance of the night was by Luke K., singing along with guitar, and dedicating it to Mauro, one of the two hosts. Following Luke was Martin, who sang along with what he told the audience afterwards, was some improvisation through a drum machine on his smartphone. Dedicated to “every kid who’s not afraid to do anything”, it was well-received by the audience. Next was one of the star performances of the night, Allan C. playing, on piano, “Concerto No. 1 in D Major”. His sister, Bernice, playing the violin, joined in a duet afterwards, and the two wowed the audience by playing “Concerto No. 2, Third Movement Variations”. The subsequent presentation after the brother and sister team was Sahil A., presenting a video called “It’s My Breaking Point, Dad”, dedicated to all the victims of bullying. The video showcased the daily life of Omar, being bullied by the same individuals day after day, to the point where he takes his own life. Succeeding that powerful film was Nathan A., expertly playing “Boccherini Sonata in Sol” on the cello, and dedicating his performance to his teacher, Kiril Kalmakov. Eva S., the next performer, sang, with ukelele, an original composition titled “I Don’t Need You”, and dedicated it to her very first music teacher, Valerie M. The final performance of the first act was by Parnika, playing an original composition titled “Desert Storm”, and dedicated to her mother and father. She composed the song at piano camp, wanting to write music that sounded similar to a stampede. With that, a brief intermission began.
The second half of the Evening For Applause started off with Katherine K., reciting a poem that she titled “A Tribute To Westmount”. Several lines elicited laughter from the audience, notably “a math teacher taught me that numbers don’t go poof, however; that wasn’t the case for the roof … walking down the halls, with room numbers that don’t match the doors … Let me take a moment to be Frank…” and so on. The poem was dedicated to the entire Westmount Charter School community. Following Katherine was Ms. Mah’s Westmount Chorus, singing “Happy, by Pharrell Williams. The Chorus dedicated their performance to Ms. Mah and all of her qualities. Succeeding their performance, which had a special guest doing cartwheels, were Kaitlyn and Tanith, playing “Let It Go” as a saxophone/bassoon duet. Before the performance, they remarked how the song had never been done on those instruments before, dedicating it to Mr. Green and the Senior Band. Next up was a video, created by Ms. Miller’s Grade 9 Math class, titled “Breaking BEDMAS”, a parody of “Breaking Bad”. The video was dedicated to Ms. Miller herself, and featured several classmates attempting to solve an equation, one of them going out to buy some “math”, and fleeing from the “math police”. Full of math puns and jokes, this video highly entertained the audience.
Following the “cinematic masterpiece”, as host Carolyn remarked, was Nathan F., singing with guitar “I’ll Follow You Into The Dark”, dedicated to his family and his friends. Josh C., up next, played “Bach Cello Suites” on the violin, and was dedicated to “that Avalon girl”, referring to the event’s organizer, Avalon S. Sam W., up next, played “Hallelujah” on the piano, and dedicating the performance to her mother, because she has “been through a lot and [her mother has] been there every step of the way”. Following Sam’s excellent rendition was Rachel F., singing an original composition she titled “A Normal Girl”, and dedicating it to her choir instructor. Avalon, Eva, Carolyn, and Ellerie followed with a music video, the song being “Pompeii” by Bastille. Avalon dedicated the video to all of her friends, and the video itself was very professionally done. Elliot H. subsequently performed an original composition titled “Stargazer”, and sang along with guitar. After Elliot was Didi Z., who performed, on the violin, “Symphonie Espagnole”, and wowed the entire audience with her skillful violin playing. The next performance, by Ravi P., was dedicated to “that amazing violinist”, referring to the previous performer, Didi. Ravi played with guitar and vocals, “Sleeping Sickness” by Canadian musician Dallas Green. For the final performance, all of the musicians playing string instruments got together to perform “Canon in D”, by Johann Pachelbel, thus charming the audience one final time.
At the end of the event, the audience was introduced to another form of talent, an excellent painting by Vivian D, dedicated to Dr. Jane Goodall, following the primatologist’s visit to Westmount several weeks ago. I don’t often partake in school events, but the sheer amount of talent that all Westmount Charter School students have was truly amazing. The Evening For Applause was very well organized and showcased our school’s talent in an exceptional way.