Arts and Culture Featured Imgaes

BEHIND-THE-SCENES SPOTLIGHT

MIHIKA BADJATE

STAFF WRITER

We’ve all heard of of famous musical geniuses like Mozart and Beethoven, whose works are known across the globe.

However, there are budding musical prodigies at Pinewood School itself. The student body and staff is filled with hidden talents.

Sophomore Andy Zeng, who performed in the talent show assembly, was forced into playing the piano when he was four years old and has been addicted to it ever since. Recently, he even started composing his own romantic and classical pieces.

“Self expression is really important, especially because I compose now. I make modifications and tweaks and create my own pieces on the piano, so I really like to express what I feel is important,” Zeng said.

Zeng has a wide variety of musical experience, as he is a percussionist in addition to a pianist. He participated in a band last year, playing the bass drums, snare drums, tambourine, and the triangle, which is his favorite.

Junior Keenan Peery was first introduced to the harmonica last year, when he was bored and decided to get one. He taught himself how to play without even knowing how to read music, through a combination of memorization and Google. Last semester, he performed in the choir assembly, playing the Stevie Wonder harmonica solo for the song “What Christmas Means to Me”.

“[The harmonica] just seemed convenient because you can keep it in your pocket, and I wanted to learn how to play Celine Dion,” Peery said.

Musical talent, however, is not just limited to students. English teacher Sabrina Strand has not only played the piano, but has also acted in plays and written her own music. A few of her past roles include Pirelli, normally a male part, in the play “Sweeney Todd”, and a character in “Jesus Christ Superstar”.

“In ‘Sweeney Todd’, my character, Pirelli, has a ‘battle of the barbers’ scene with Sweeney Todd where they are both trying to prove they are the best barber. During one of the performances, the actor who played Tobias yanked too hard on the chart, and the entire thing came crashing to the floor. It took all my willpower not to burst out laughing at the shocked look on his face; instead I played it off like my character was mad at her assistant for being so careless and ruining my fancy chart. As they say in show biz, the show must go on,” Strand said.

She also participated in the play “Godspell” a few years ago when it was performed as a fundraiser at Pinewood.

“My dream role is the witch in ‘Into the Woods’. I like really strong, powerful characters that have a lot of personality, so that I can show my funny side and also use my voice,” Strand said.

There are so many talented musicians right here at Pinewood—perhaps it’s time for our next student showcase!

Leave a Comment