A Capella, Slam Poetry, Rock, and More: Abbot Cabaret 2023 Arouses Audience Engagement Through Variety of Student Performances

Chen sings alongside guitarists Sinan Muratoglu ’24 and Constantine Krenteras ’24

Singing a cover of “Take On Me” by a-ha, Indigo’s lead vocalist Jason Zhang ’23 flew a paper airplane into the crowd while the audience cheered and clapped along to the beat of the song. Featuring Indigo and other bands, stand-up comedy, and slam poetry, the annual Abbot Cabaret talent show was held in Kemper Auditorium last weekend.

For many performers, the Abbot Cabaret performance was an opportunity to bond with friends and make memories on the stage. Indigo guitarist, Dylan Oh ’23, reflected on his experience of interacting with his band on stage.

“I think the real performance was making friends along the way. My favorite part was just being up on stage, playing music with the people I love and my friends, having a great time. I think that is what’s so meaningful about being on stage with everyone,” said Oh.

Saumik Sharma ’25, a member of the audience, explained how he was impressed by the various performances.

“I think it was a perfect [imitation] of Grasshopper, which was amazing… This was a little bit shorter, and [I] didn’t feel like I was losing interest at any point… And of course, it’s Andover, so the people are very talented,” said Sharma.

Lauren Mahoney ’23, lead vocalist of band Rough Draft and a capella group Keynotes, stated that she was especially proud of Rough Draft’s animated stage presence, especially with their instrumentalists.

“So in Rough Draft’s [performance of] ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)’ by Journey, there is a longer instrumental where our guitarist, John Latham [’23], just gets to absolutely shred his solo… He got off the stage and he got down on one knee and was banging his head back and forth and just really feeling the music. And right after that, I came in with this big belt note, and the crowd just stood up, and started roaring, just because of the climax of the song, and just the adrenaline rush after that was absolutely amazing,” said Mahoney.

Another performer in Keynotes, Jeremy Yeh ’23, expressed his excitement about performing a solo part in the performance. However, he stated that there were several challenges during the preparation process, such as the limited rehearsal time.

“We started preparing this arrangement back in December, but we didn’t actually know we were officially in Abbot Cabaret until about a week and half ago, which made the process a bit rushed. Most of the preparation was done in these last couple of weeks…[but] it was really fun preparing for [the solo] because as a bass, I don’t usually get a solo,” said Yeh.

Several audience members stated that the Abbot Cabaret provided an opportunity for them to see their peers in action. Audience member Wooba Song ’26 emphasized the wide variety of performances at the Cabaret.

“I think the performance was wonderful. You could tell how much work everybody put into it. All the acts were amazing in their own way,” said Song.