Dear KES Family,
Two boys in Grade 10, born continents apart (one in China and one in Uganda), brought the house down with their singing last night at our Coffee House. Athan Guo from Beijing and Zacharia Ocole-Akorimo from Kampala are not just on the basketball team together, but they share a common interest and talent for American rap music. Perhaps I should not be surprised by the pervasiveness of American culture, but as they sang after an absolutely gorgeous, traditional performance by Angel An on her Chinese Harp (the guzheng) the contrast in musical culture was significant!
Our Coffee Houses are always full of delightful surprises. No one expected Kyle Wagner from New Glasgow to throw down classic rifts on his electric guitar as expertly as he did, or for Ella Jollymore to rip out the lyrics to Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train with him. We also could not have predicted that Eddie Wu (Class of 2014) would return to the School and perform so beautifully, or for the Duty Dogs to be resurrected by Mr. Naugler and Mr. DeCoste. Beautiful voices always bless the evening (one’s skin shivers when one hears Carla Du Toit or Nandini Mishra or Hannah Givner sing!) and the courage displayed by performers such as Grade 8 student from Labrador City, Amy Cornick, who sang her own original piece was impressive. Also from Lab City, Grade 10 student Patrick Walsh, flawlessly recited Kipling’s famous poem “If” by heart. Performing on stage is always difficult, doing it alone in front of 200 students, parents, and staff can be paralyzing. He was brilliant.
Aside from the diversity of talent, what I love most about our Coffee Houses is the reaction of the audience. Supportive and respectful, everyone understands what it takes to get up and grab a mic, a guitar, or a pair of drumsticks. Whether singing as a solo performer, duet, or as a group of three, the crowd recognizes that it is harder to stand up in the spotlight than it is to be seated watching. The evening’s Emcee, Parker Jollymore, did a wonderful job of setting the appreciative tone for the evening. It warms one’s heart to see the unconditional support he and the performers all received.
This week in pictures.