All-School Arts Representative, Mickey Chong ’16, organized an arts extravaganza All-School Meeting on Monday, May 2 to kick off Arts Week. Arts Week is designed to fundraise for Inner City Arts, a nonprofit dedicated to providing arts education to underprivileged youth in Los Angeles, and raise support for students involved in arts at Marlborough. The All-School Meeting featured performances by a cappella club Violets in Harmony and Chong’s dance group, Miniotics.
At the beginning of the school year, Arts Council identified three goals: support the School arts community, promote the presence of local art, and fundraise for Inner City Arts. “We wanted to support Inner City Arts because we recognize, as Marlborough students, we have the privilege of having a really strong arts program. We wanted to extend that privilege to other kids in the area who are unable to access that kind of education,” Chong explained.
As part of the All-School Meeting,Violets in Harmony, the student a cappella group led by Zoe Levin ’19 and Nina Rhone ’19, performed “Hey Jude” and “Lean on Me.” The club’s purpose is to give back to the community by singing to the elderly.
“Our goal is to go to retirement homes and convalescent homes much more frequently because this past year we just were trying to get off the ground. We feel like we’ve done a pretty good job retaining members and having people sing well and bring good harmonies.
We want to get experience talking to the elderly about [themselves], about their past to bring them happiness,” Rhone said.
Levin explained that the club chose the songs they performed because they are older songs that their audiences at convalescent homes will enjoy.
“These were actually songs that we had done with our a cappella group at our old school and we wanted to start with those songs not only because they would be easiest to teach but also because they were relatively centered around the theme of older songs that people would know and recognize,” Levin said.
Dean of Student Life and Spanish instructor Regina Rosi explained that the reason Violets in Harmony was asked to perform was because it embodies the School’s core value of community.
“This is a club that really has purpose and has met throughout the year. I think the biggest thing for me was seeing all that take shape and see the final product of their efforts. I think that Violets in Harmony really exemplifies what we look for in Marlborough clubs,” Rosi said.
Following the Violets in Harmony performance, Chong’s award-winning dance troupe Miniotics performed a modified version of their World of Dance Los Angeles routine. Chong explained that one of her greatest challenges was editing their routine for the School.
“The music that Miniotics dances to may not be school-appropriate at times. So, when dealing with curse words and vulgarity, we had to opt to not include a piece. In preparation for the actual performance we didn’t have that much time… but it was exciting to perform…Everyone here is really happy and supportive,” Chong said.
There were several challenges in organizing both the All-School Meeting and Arts Week. Both Chong and Rosi said they felt that planning the All-School meeting was very rushed. In fact, Chong is unsure if Arts Week was able to raise enough money to break even and support Inner City Arts. Chong advised that next year’s arts council plan at least two months in advance. In order to perform better next year, Rosi suggested that the event be moved to sometime earlier in the year, possibly during first semester.
“I think what happened with arts week is that it was put together sort of at the last minute. I think it turned out great, but I don’t recommend putting things at the end of the year,” Rosi said.
In spite of the planning difficulties, Rosi said she felt that the event was successful because it maintained the audience’s attention.
“I think what was great about this ASM was that it was a mixture of talking about an organization and this highly entertaining piece. I loved how it was student- focused and student-initiated,” Rosi said. π