Audio: Practice pays off for student performers at Art in The Dark


Andrew Burke-Stevenson

Seniors Jonah Schloerb and Katie Baffa sing “you matter to me” backed by string lights on a makeshift stage in the cafeteria.

Anathea Carrigan, Managing Editor

The U-High tradition of Art in the Dark the night before ArtsFest returned in full force on Wednesday February 23, with students performing on everything from drums to electric bass for three full hours, from start to close.  

However, most students only see the performers’ final product, not all of the work going on behind the scenes. The student performers prepare in a variety of ways, all with the hopes of putting on a polished show for their peers.

Not only have they been practicing for the past couple of weeks, they’ve put years into mastering their instruments. 

Junior Ilan Nevo has been playing the guitar for many years. Prior to attending Lab, he attended what he calls a “music first” school. Missing this heavy focus on music, he was excited to learn about the opportunity to perform at Art in the Dark at Lab.

“Kennedi messaged me on Instagram,” Ilan said. “This school is not like a music first school, and I used to go to a music first school, so that was kinda weird. And that’s it basically”

However, signing up to play was only the first step. As part of a group performance, Ilan and Kennedi struggled to find a time and place to rehearse.

“Well it was hard to find time to rehearsal, to rehearse,” Ilan said. 

There’s also the challenge of finding the correct musicians to play a piece.

Junior Camille Bryant, who hasn’t played the drums in a couple of years, happily returned to accompany her friends Kennedi and Ilan.

“I play the drums. I’ve been playing them I guess in band or with lessons since I was in sixth grade but like unofficially with my family since I was like four. I’m not great at it, but it’s something I enjoy doing,” Camille said. “I hadn’t been able to play in a while so being able to play with my friends, in front of my peers, I took the opportunity to do so, so yeah.” 

While some groups were formed well ahead of time, other performers were asked to perform at the last minute, meaning they had to scramble to learn the music quickly.

Senior Brandon Bousquette joined Kennedi, Ilan and Camille’s group to play the bass guitar, and just two hours before the event was still unsure what songs they would be playing.

“So by myself, I will probably be performing Let Her Go by Passenger. Um, I’m not sure if I’ll be doing another one. That just depends on how the next two and a half hours go,” Brandon said. 

Despite this, Brandon was still relatively calm for his performance. 

“Yeah, it’s for fun so I’m just going to try and do my best and have fun,” Brandon said.

This sentiment was echoed by other performers, such as senior Taig Singh.

“As a senior, I don’t care much what other people think of me anymore, so I’m not too nervous, but I’d like not to mess up,” Taig said. 

Taig has been performing at Art in the Dark since freshman year, and is always excited to share his music with his peers. 

“An and I have performed at Art in the Dark ever since my freshman year, and I’ve always accompanied An while she sings,” Taig said. “She asked me to do it again this year, and it’s always a fun experience so I said yeah.”

Screams and shouts echo across the cafeteria as students cheer for their friends as they walk to and from the mics. 

Another Art in the Dark comes to an end as the bright fluorescent cafeteria lights flip back on.