Once a year, the best performers and artists of the Magnet put on a show to prove to the world that there's more to Magnets than TI-83's and PowerPoint presentations.
The 13th annual Magnet Arts Night, like those before it, was a great show. The show had no price for admission, but volunteers at the entrance took donations for the Dr. Michael Vaccaro Scholarship Fund, which awards the money to several Magnet seniors each year for outstanding performance in the Magnet.
Several Magnets put their artwork on display in Blazer Court outside the auditorium. Featured artists included Christine Wang, Danielle Prados, Carol Schmitz, Albert Kung, Jennifer Kramer, Kevin Fang, Christina Feng, Heather Dwyer, and Harry Bullen.
Some non-Magnet students participated in the show, like Joe Howley, in the Forensics Team's dramatic reading, Irene Liu, one of the Ninja Turtles, or Martin Katz, the stage crew sound manager.
The show ran smoothly, except for one technical problem. The auditorium lights turned on inappropriately several times during the show, often in the middle of a performance. "It isn't [the light manager's] fault,"said Katz. "People in the audience keep leaning against the walls." Because the auditorium was full, several dozen audience members had to stand around the back, sometimes accidentally hitting the various light switches along the walls.
After an introduction by the emcees (Stephen Acton, Elizabeth Inkellis, Sohpie Strike, Jessica Yen, and Amanda Way), the first performance was an Ike Turner blues song, "Matchbox," featuring lengthy guitar, bass, and drum solos by Greg Vierira Noah Simon, Paul Joyner, and Jared Osborn.
David Kim, who has played piano at the White House and the United Nations, played "White Clouds" by Edvard Grieg.
Nisha Aggarwal, Aditi and Jahavi Bhaskar, Sreela Namboordiri, Neela Pal, and Neha Rustagi performed an Indian folk dance to recorded music and singing.
Elizabeth Finn, Abby Fraeman, Joe Howley, Ana Karimi, Danielle Prados, and Eric Shaffer, members of Blair's Forensics Team, performed a dramatic reading, "Dressing Up for the Carnival."
A magnet '04 group, returning from last year's show, performed a song/skit called "Stress!" that served to remind the audience of the anxiety students go through in school.
A teacher group consisting of Daniel Levin, Bob Donaldson, and Karen Collins played a country song about a condemned criminal, "Sing Me Back Home" by Merle Haggard. "Imagine that you are a murderer on Death Row," Donaldson introduced. Pausing to allow a few giggles from the audience, he continued in a deadpan voice, "This is not funny. You are going to die. What would you do?"
A string quartet of William Hwang, Jessica Lue, Daniel Tsui, and Jeanne Yang played the finale from "String Quartet in G Minor, Op. 74, No. 3."
For the last few years, Asian students have done a martial arts performance in Magnet Arts Night. This year, Daniel Ku, Stephen Lin, Tacy Lin, and Irene Liu dressed up as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with Mattan Schuchman as Splinter the rat, and demonstrated their skills to the TV show theme song.
Jesse McIntosh did a hilarious comedy routine, impersonating the slow, deliberate drawl of comedian Mitch Hedberg. His topics hopped from donut receipts ("I give you the money, you give me the donut, and the transaction is complete." What if he needed to prove the donut purchase to his friends? "I've got the documentation right here... oh, wait... I left it at home... it's in a file... under 'D'... for donut.") to protests ("I'm against picketing, but I'm not sure how to show it") and Yuletide spirit ("A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer").
Four students, Jesse Jou, Tiffany Lin, John Li, and Vivian Wang played "More" by Riz and Nino Olivero on two pianos.
The last performance of the first act was the brother-sister pair of Rahul and Neena Satija, playing Brahms' 1st Violin Concero on the violin and piano, respectively. Rahul, now a senior, also performed in the last two Magnet Arts Nights.
The second act began with Matt Baron, James Gao, Lisa Kim, Tiffany Lin, and Daniel Tsui playing a quintet by Robert Schumann, followed by Anran Wang alone on piano.
"Studs on Stools." Peter Russo, Richard Schneider, Nicholas Stone, and Zack Sorenson walked on stage with four metal-legged stools. They turned them upside down, put their legs inside, and proceeded to wobble at higher and higher speeds until they starting meandering around the stage.
A returning group of ‘03 magnets sang a medley from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance."
The Chinese Club performed two traditional Chinese dances. The dragon dance entered with a dragon head illuminated in the dark. The dragon body was supported by a group of students holding poles as they ran around the stage in elaborate maneuvers. As the dragon wandered offstage, six girls entered with large feathered fans and performed a fan dance.
Noah Grosfeld-Katz, with the help of David Wolff's singing, performed a song that he wrote himself entitled "I Always Need You Near."
Jesse McIntosh came back on stage for a few more Mitch Hedberg jokes.
Patrick Handler, Samantha Hong, Sam Goldman, and Griff Rees played a classical-jazz hybrid called "Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano," alternating between relaxed flute-and-piano and jazzy bass-and-drums.
A swing band, complete with piano, guitar, drums, bass, saxophone, trombone, and two trumpets, played "What's Next" by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
Sherri Geng, Grace Huang, Kendra Leigh, and Renee Park danced to the hip-hop song "AM to PM" by Christina Milian.
The last act is always reserved for a group of seniors. This year, about 20 seniors performed a "classroom stomp," transforming the everyday sounds of a classroom into rhythmic harmonies.
To reserve a copy of the Magnet Arts Night 2002 video tape, contact Steve Acton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-718-3757.
Jeremy Hoffman. Jeremy Hoffman serves his second year on <i>Silver Chips Online</i> as the System Administrator. Following in the footsteps of Robert Day and Joe Howley, he'll be writing the code that makes the online paper work. Jeremy was born in D.C. and raised in Bethesda. His … More »