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by Seong Ae H '12

Performing On Stage At CARNEGIE Hall

On April 14th,  Ms. Nikkolos’ 9th grade advisory and Ms. Matani’s 10th grade advisory went on a trip to the Carnegie Hall for a Cultural Exchange Concert. Within those two advisories, there were six students who were scheduled to perform on stage that day: Seong Ae Hong, Myles Petillo, Adrien Carrere, Ashley Narvaez, Tenzin Thunsur from 10th grade and Zakir from the 9th grade. Students of BSGE collaborated with a famous band from India, Indian Ocean, for this concert. Although the performance was only few minutes long, a lot of time and effort were needed for the epic stage at Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Nikkolos and her advisees have been participating in the Cultural Exchange program for several years. And this year, she got Ms. Matani’s 10th grade advisees to participate in the program as well. Towards the beginning of the year, staff members of the program requested the teachers to ask a couple of students to take a part in the April concert. We gladly accepted this request and took this opportunity to use our musical talents to collaborate with one of the highly respected bands in India.
Because I have a hobby of writing lyrics in my free time, I figured that I would be able to include my lyrics in the song. I ended up writing two verses, one in English and one in Korean. This obviously led to the decision that I would be rapping the verses on stage, too. Then the group made up the chorus: the melody and the lyrics. The chorus is very addictive, in my opinion, when repeated several times. It goes:
Everywhere we come from (Different people)
Everywhere we come from (Different places)
Myles, Adrien, Ashley, Tenzin, Zakir and I, along with one of the staff members from Carnegie Hall Cultural Exchange program, Harris, practiced during almost every advisory and lunch period. I rapped, Myles was the hype man and main vocal for the chorus, Adrien was the drummer and Ashley, Tenzin and Zakir were in charge of the chorus. The practices were stressful at times due to exhaustion but we managed to hold regular practices. Some of the rehearsals were done at a studio in Manhattan near the Carnegie Hall, to familiarize ourselves with what the stage would feel like.
A day before the real concert, the dress rehearsal was held with the actual band, Indian Ocean, and the rest of the Cultural Exchange program crew. Several adjustments needed to be made, mainly because of the different ways that the BSGE students and the Indian Ocean band had been practicing. Things worked out in the end thanks to the members of Indian Ocean, who gladly changed their ideas to ours to make the stage more comfortable for us.
Several minutes before the actual concert, a small incident happened. I was clearing my throat for a clear voice for the performance. I was continuously coughing but didn’t realize that I was actually doing harm to my throat, which was extremely tense due to nervousness. I began to taste blood in my coughs and started to freak out. Fellow performers, Adrien and Myles were comforting me with encouragements. Then we went on stage.
At the beginning of my first verse, which was the English verse, my voice came out a bit deeper than usual and hoarse, but as I continued rapping, the tension in my throat gradually went away. The real problem was the second verse. The microphone that I was holding was turned off and the audience did not hear my rap as clear as my first verse. But besides that, everything went great. Myles was a amazing hype man; the crowd went wild thanks to him. Adrien was excellent at keeping a steady beat throughout the whole song and Ashley, Tenzin and Zakir did an awesome job at singing the chorus part with the crowd. Everyone seemed to enjoy our performance. Even Ms. Johnson made a special appearance for our performance at Carnegie Hall.
I really do consider this as one of the most enjoyable and fun performance that I experienced on stage. I’m sure that the rest of the BSGE student performers, Myles, Adrien, Ashley, Tenzin and Zakir would agree. Great job, guys.

By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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