Music Fest 2013 Features Fresh Faces

The Student Activities Board (SAB) once again attracted a large group of student musicians with eclectic tastes in music in their third annual hit event, Music Fest.

Jing Qu ’13 guided the performance through a broad range of musical tastes as the night’s M.C., and the show, set intimately on a low stage in dimly-lit Borden Gym, created a lounge feel and personally connected with performers and audience members.

Different musical talents were showcased, from the rapid and skillful rendition of German composer Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Violin Romance” by Angela Tang ’15 to soulful bongo playing by Ravn Jenkin ’15 and Nick Kochakian ’15.

After Adham Moustafa ’14 opened the show with a peaceful vocal and guitar Death Cab for Cutie cover, Noah Hornik ’15 spend up the rhymth of the show by reworking French shoegaze band M83’s hit “Midnight City.”

Originally designed as group piece, Hornik used a looper pedal, drum pad and a microphone to layer tracks and harmonize with himself in a solo performance.

“I think [Hornik’s] was a really great performance—it sort of symbolized [the moment you become] a man, like when you turn 13,” said Mads Engel ’14, a member of the audience.

Capturing the hearts of many audience members, Arthur Doran ’15 took a trip down memory lane. Covering the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder),” Doran’s performance encapsulated the Beach Boys’ jazz lounge musicality and showcased talented vocals.

“I was a little nervous, because I had just learned the song a few minutes before I performed it, but I think I pulled it off pretty well,” said Doran.

Joel Anthony Pena ’16 paid homage to the recent film “Les Misérables,” an adaptation of the Broadway play and novel by French author Victor Hugo. Making up for a simplified musical arrangement with his powerful vocal performance, Pena presented an intimate rendition of “Stars,” while playing the piano.

“I thought he performed much more maturely than I had expected from someone so young,” said Qu.

After Pena’s emotional “Stars,” Bella Flynn ’15, Rebecca Savord ’15 and Hanover Vale ’15 took the stage as a trio to cover Radiohead’s “Creep.” Flynn and Savord stayed true to the song theme of teen angst by contrasting a broad vocal performance with quietly arranged accompaniment.

Tasmiah Ahmad ’14 followed with a slow, acoustic version of Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning.” Ahmad brought her own jazzy, stripped-down vibe that is not present in the original song.

“I’m always astounded at all the new talents that are discovered here… [Ahmad] was phenomenal. Every Andover kid never ceases to amaze me,” said Kevin Newhall ’13.

Cellist JongHo Park ’16 brought classical music to the Music Fest stage with a rapid and technically-precise performance of “Francoeur Cello Sonata.”

“It [was] just totally amazing… I’ve never heard cello played like that,” said Laz Nyamakazi ’13.

After a short set intermission, an Andover student punk band named Ignored Warning, headed by Sam Shapiro ’16, performed three songs: a cover of the Black Keys’ “Gold on the Ceiling,” Nirvana’s “Breed” and a funky original composition of “Over the Rope.”

“I think the Andover Music scene is fantastic. There’s tons of great kids that are always willing to play. I really love performing because, like athletes, performing gives me that chance to shine and to show people what I can really do on stage. We’ve been playing for almost a year now and performing at Music Fest has really been a step forward in being recognized,” said Shapiro.

“[Ignored Warning] stole the show,” said Qu.

Exchanging his typical guitar for a ukulele, Brian Wagner ’14 brought his unique vocals to the stage by playing a quiet, soulful cover of “Over the Rainbow,” in the style of Israel Kamikawo’ole, a Hawaiian-born American musician.

“It was nice to see musicians you wouldn’t usually see crawl out of the woodwork for tonight’s performances,” said Julie Doar ’13.

Amo Manuel ’14 and Jack Elliot-Higgins ’14 created an interesting instrumental fusion of upright bass and a 12 string guitar during their resounding rendition of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In an Aeroplane over the Sea.”

Continuing the night’s trend of collaborations, Julia Zell ’15 thrilled the crowd by performing “A la faveur de l’automne,” by Tété, entirely in French, along with Sarah Merker ’15, who complemented Zell’s voice with melodic strums on the guitar.