To conclude her final concert at Andover, Kalina Ko ’17 ended her performance last Wednesday with a rendition of the song “Watch What Happens” from the musical “Newsies.” Ko’s energy radiated throughout Timken Room, as she sang about overcoming doubt and hardship to go and achieve amazing things.
“[This song is] just so hopeful and it’s so in-your-face: ‘You thought I couldn’t do this? I’m gonna go out there and do it and see what happens.’ It’s so much like the underdogs. I think ‘Watch What Happens’ is important to me because it’s hopeful and ‘See what I can do’ and ‘You thought wrong, I can actually rule the world,’ ” said Ko.
Ko’s repertoire was composed of a range of songs, including “Laurie’s Song” from the musical “The Tender Land.” Starting with soft chords, the piano, accentuating the performance with high long notes, accompanied Ko’s conversational singing.
“‘Laurie’s Song’ I chose because I was in a ‘Hamilton’ craze and saw a video of Phillipa Soo singing it and I had to know what this is. I found it and it spoke to graduation and it’s about a girl graduating and getting her diploma and not really knowing what’s coming next and I was like, ‘Wow, look! That’s me right now,’” said Ko.
Ko also performed a rendition of the song “One Perfect Moment” from the musical “Bring it On.” Ko began to sing as the piano played a soft trickle of notes. Voice fluctuating and matching with the notes, Ko’s slow and smooth and steady voice washed over the audience.
“‘One Perfect Moment,’ I’ve just been singing it a lot. It’s been a stable part of my repertoire and it’s pretty much about the teenage experience of not really knowing what’s going on, so I think that’s just been something that always brings me calm because I understand it and I know and I’ve done it so many times, so I thought that would be a good piece to put in,” said Ko.
Ko began to sing when she was in sixth or seventh grade. Carrying on her passion to Andover, Ko has now become a prominent member of a number of singing groups. Ko has found mentorship from her voice tutor Krista Rivers, who has helped her throughout her singing career at Andover.
“I actually started with Krista, maybe the beginning of Upper year, end of Lower year. I was not really sure if I was going to keep doing voice lessons… Luckily, Ms. Sachs emailed me saying, ‘Krista has this one free slot — do you want to do it?’ So I emailed her back and said yes. And that’s been great because Krista has just been instrumental in everything and developing me and making sure I love the repertoire I’m doing,” said Ko.
With her final concert coming to an end, Ko is nostalgic about leaving Andover, but excited about delving into an environment with new opportunities.
“I’ve always believed that Andover is always one of the most supportive places for performing arts, especially solo performing arts and pursuing a higher level, so it’s strange thinking that I will never have this amount of support again but also great knowing how well I’ve been prepared. Now I’ve planned an entire recital on my own and I’ve sang for [about] forty-five minutes, and that’s great training for the future and building up stamina and thinking about long-term projects. I feel prepared, but also sad, nostalgic, it-hasn’t-quite-registered, all of the above,” said Ko.