Bauhinia Chen '26
Oct 6, 2023
In accordance with Family and Alumni Weekend convention, Mercersburg Academy’s Simon Theatre hosted an Arts Showcase on September 30. Consisting of a medley of performances across various mediums of art, primarily performing, the Arts Showcase provided an opportunity for parents to view a piece of their children’s work as they might not be able to make it to full shows. Each performance in the show demonstrated the core of the arts programs in an abridged manner, teasing the audience with snippets of future performances.
Jessica Doubell, the Technical Director of the Burgin Center for the Arts, oversaw the operation of the event. She said, “The Arts Showcase provides an opportunity to see our students who work in the arts doing what they enjoy. Our students work so hard all the time and it's nice to have a chance to show our families what we are working on. For the alumni, I hope it reminds them of their time here with fond memories of performing or creating.”
Performers also spoke positively about their experience. “I love participating in the showcase. I feel honored to be one of the representatives of the Jazz Band to perform and solo on the stage. The performances tonight also got me looking forward to upcoming art programs,” said Emily Tan ‘24.
“I am blessed to see my peers presenting their talent! I also enjoy simply being on the stage,” said Samuel Zhao ‘24, the student leader of the Octet. “It was a good opportunity to prepare for the Fall Pops Concert in November,” said Collin Jin ‘25, another member of Octet.
“The Arts Showcase gives space to the PGAs and groups that don’t perform outside of their few shows a year, so I was really excited to help bring dance into a new arena! I had lots of fun sharing my art form with the greater Mercersburg community, and I hope we can have more chances like this to engage outside of our usual borders!” dancer Elizabeth Orders ‘25 said. Also a dancer, Stella Johnson ‘25 said, “I enjoyed performing in the Arts Showcase because it is such a good opportunity to show families how great the arts at Mercersburg are.”
Caroline Hobbs ‘26, who represented the Blue Review by reciting poems from past publications, said, “I am very proud to show how successful we are and showcase our amazing poetry.”
The Arts Showcase ended with a euphonious rendition of “Bridge over Troubled Water” from the chorale. One of the members, Jolie Zhu ‘26, said, “It was stressful that we had a short amount of time to prepare. Although there were a lot of hiccups along the way, I was happy with the result.”
The showcase received praise from many parents for its variety and execution. “I absolutely enjoyed the showcase! It blew my mind. I was unsure what to expect, but I came and saw the whole art department performing. It was amazing seeing the variety,” said one parent.
“There was a lot of variety, and everyone was performing at a high level of ability. It was very impressive,” said Sophie Kim P ‘26.
“I liked how there was a lot of participation from different art departments. Everyone was putting their heart and soul into the performance. They were all engaged, and there was a lot of attention to detail,” said Roy Hua, P ‘25.
“I loved it! It was nice to have a little taste of everything. After watching the showcase, I am now excited for the upcoming programs. It is always amazing to see students perform,” said Michele Poacelli, P ‘24, ‘26.
The family weekend arts showcase fulfilled its intentions and provided a feast of the arts with its combination of music, dance, theater, and literature.