By Sophia Kim
North hosted its 2022 Spring Concert for band and orchestra on Tuesday, May 24, at 7:00pm. The concert yielded a large turnout; many families and friends came to support the musicians. A QR code was available to be scanned to conveniently view the concert program on mobile devices.
One of the highlights of the concert was the chamber orchestra’s performance of the finale of Dvořák’s famous American Quartet. Conducted by North Orchestra Director Mr. Crooke, the musicians demonstrated the vivacity and freshness of Dvořák’s work, making the changes in color throughout the movement apparent. The viola and cello sections in particular demonstrated great ensemble playing, providing a resonant and lively foundation for the music.
Senior trombone player AJ Fiore conducted the symphonic band’s second piece, “Nimrod” from Elgar’s Enigma Variations. According to North Band Director Mr. Bishop, Fiore had requested to conduct a piece in the concert, and had chosen “Nimrod” himself, which radiated a majestic character. The ensemble’s subsequent performance of “Rush'' by Samuel Hazo produced an exhilarating atmosphere through exciting percussion.
After a brief intermission, the orchestra performed the first movement of Bach’s vibrant Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. The piece also exuded a stately spirit, with grounded support provided by the bass.
A marching band favorite, the Star Wars Medley was a highlight of the concert. According to Mr. Bishop, the band performed an arrangement very similar to the original Star Wars score. Many of the musicians in the band could be seen nodding their heads to the beat of the piece and clearly played with passion and excitement. The various sections of the band collectively produced a rich, full, and powerful sound that brought out the beautiful melodies of the medley. The performance called attention to the score’s shifts between strong, commanding voices and moments of beauty and warmth.
Following the classic pick, “Variations on an African Hymnsong” offered an invigorating assortment of textures and rhythms that made it one of my favorite selections of the night.
The marching band concluded their section of the concert with selections from Disney’s 2016 animated film, Moana. According to Mr. Bishop, the band performed selections from the movie’s soundtrack as a tribute to the current seniors’ trip to Hawaii in their freshman year. Mr. Bishop stated that the marching band is also planning to play a medley of songs from Moana at North’s 2022 graduation ceremony. The performance included excerpts of songs such as “How Far I’ll Go,” “You’re Welcome,” and “Where You Are.” The arrangement effectively embodied the island-feel of the movie.
North’s 2022 Band and Orchestra Spring Concert presented pieces of diverse time periods, cultures, and forms. The performances demonstrated the history that music preserves (1812 Overture, American Quartet), the power that music has to touch and inspire (Star Wars, Moana), and the way in which music so closely reflects the stories and cultures of the world (Variations on an African Hymnsong, Shenandoah).
It was clear that the North musicians enjoyed the opportunity to speak and share stories through their instruments; their hard work and passion radiated through this culminating performance. I encourage everyone, musician or not, to attend future concerts or even get involved in the North Music Department. Music is a powerful tool that speaks many languages and can change the lives of both artist and listener.
By Sophia Kim
North families and a cappella enthusiasts were finally able to attend the yearly “A Cappella at the Rock” festival in-person this year on Saturday, April 2. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the event had been canceled in 2020 and took place virtually in 2021. This year, North’s auditorium was packed with people eager to enjoy a live performance.
The event saw nine performances by seven student a cappella groups from schools in the area. North presented Rhythm of the Rock, its pop a cappella group, as well as NorthVoice, its select choir.
Rhythm of the Rock began the show with an easygoing and lighthearted performance of Lake Street Dive’s “Hypotheticals,” arranged by Maryanne Muglia. The group later performed an impactful rendition of “Iscariot” by Walk the Moon, arranged by Brett Kissel and edited by Ryan Carlin, and concluded the student performances with a powerful and dramatic performance of “Heavenly Father” by Bon Iver, arranged by Ryan Carlin.
NorthVoice performed an atmospheric interpretation of “We Found Love” by Rihanna, arranged by Chris Rishel.
Hailing from Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School, the String Theory Singers performed a moving rendition of “Imagine” by John Lennon.
The Spartones from Steinert High School vibrantly sang “Electric Love” by Borns.
From the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush, the Chamber Singers performed “All for Us” by Labrinth, utilizing expressive dance to create a heavy atmosphere.
The Vocal Vikings from Atlantic City High School showcased a wide-ranging medley of “No Tears Left to Cry,” by Ariana Grande, “Some Nights,” by Fun, “Hey Ya!” by OutKast, and “All for Us” by Labrinth.
Rhapsody from Ridley High School sang a fun and charismatic version of “Do You Wanna Do Nothing With Me?” by Lawrence, wearing onesie pajamas and dancing around a couch to capture the relaxed and cozy setting of the song.
After a brief intermission, professional a cappella group Revoiced took the stage, first introducing their group, then demonstrating each member’s contribution to their collective sound.
Member Chris brought up a senior audience member, Connie, from the crowd, guiding her by hand up to the stage to dance. Beatboxer Justin later engaged the crowd with a group activity, assigning specific sounds to sections of the audience and directing the sections to create a beatbox-like medley of noises.
The festival ended with a grand finale performance involving Revoiced and all student participants of the event. The singers collectively performed “Don’t Worry Be (Happy),” a unified reminder to remain positive at this tumultuous time in the world.
Prom Makes a Comeback
By Lindsay Gottlieb
Prom, the timeless tradition of American high schools where students dress up in suits and dresses to dance (and enjoy the food, which is what I'll be doing). Because prom is typically held toward the end of the school year, it serves as a celebration of all the students' accomplishments throughout their high school years, and for juniors and seniors, it's a lot of stressful work overload.
Prom, for seniors especially, can symbolize the beginning of the transition into their next stage of life. It may also represent, in a coming-of-age sense, the rite of passage to a beautiful dance that so many young girls dream of.
After Coronavirus-related restrictions devastated the past two school years in Council Rock as well as all around the country, prom is officially making its comeback for the Class of 2023 juniors, and Class of 2022 seniors.
The Junior Prom will be held on April 29 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Princeton, and the Senior Prom will be held on May 21 at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia.
After weeks of voting, the junior class has decided that their prom theme will be Garden Gala, and the senior prom theme has yet to be announced. A huge thanks to all of our fellow students and teachers who are organizing this event for us since making these events work for our juniors and seniors after COVID took Prom from four classes of CR North is no easy task.
The class of 2021 did have an event similar to prom, but non-affiliated with Council Rock. Seniors had their own Garden Gala, an outdoor function hosted by the students themselves.
You can follow Instagram accounts made by our fellow students for prom updates and pictures of your classmates' dresses. @crnjuniorprom2023 for juniors, and @crnorth2022dresses for seniors.
To put a twist on my usual student interviews when writing articles, I instead asked my parents about their proms, back in the 1980s.
How do you think prom was different in the 1980s versus now?
"It's definitely more extravagant now. I did not get my hair or makeup done, and there were no such things as everyone going to one house for pre-prom pictures, you just took pictures with your date, and that was it. There was no such thing as Instagram— if you showed up in the same dress as somebody else, then you showed up in the same dress as somebody else."
Following her mention of two girls potentially wearing the same dress, I asked her if that was considered a problem.
"Not that I remember. But dresses were short, and a lot poofier. That was the 80s"
I proceeded to ask my dad the same question:
"The style of clothing was different. The girls were dressed like something out of Footloose, and smelled like AquaNet. Tanning was a big thing back then. Not spray tans— tanning beds, actually."
Thank you again to everyone who is working tirelessly to make these events happen!
COVID-Safe Fun Fall Activities
By Madison O'Leary
As we all know, the last eight months have been one of the most difficult times of our lives. Our holiday celebrations have been put on-hold, we haven’t been able to spend as much time with our friends and family, and most of us have been stuck in our homes with absolutely nothing to do. However, this part of the year is also one of the most exciting times because there is so much to look forward to--the leaves are turning, the air is becoming crisper, and Halloween is just around the corner. Although our fall is going to be a bit different this year, there are still plenty of safe, festive activities to do that will cure our boredom and get us out of the house. Below, I have compiled a list of things that you can do to brighten your spirits and to get into the autumn mood:
Q: What did you decide to bake?
A: We baked vegan pumpkin cake pops! We watched a video online of someone making the recipe, so we decided to try it out!
Q: What was in the cake pops?
A: The recipe was pretty simple--we just used one box of spiced cake mix, a cup of pumpkin puree, and a cup of water. Then, we baked our mixture, crumbled it, and combined it with some vegan cream cheese frosting. We rolled the crumbs into balls, and then we dipped them in some non-dairy white chocolate.
Q: How did the recipe turn out?
A: Well, it was not the move. You have to make sure that you get all the correct ingredients before deciding to bake something. . . (don’t make your own pumpkin filling if you don’t know how!)
Oh well, not every recipe turns out the way it’s supposed to, but at least they had fun making their cake pops. Any one of these activities is a great way to take your mind off the current circumstances, and it’s a fun way to celebrate the fall weather. You can spend time with your family and friends and support local businesses at the same time! Just remember to wear your masks and to practice social distancing!
Holiday Wish: A Comic
By Marissa Cohen
This past fall, members of CRN’s Sock ‘n’ Buskin theater company put on three performances of Moises Kaufman and The Tectonic Theater Project’s The Laramie Project. This play is based on various interviews the members of this group conducted with the residents of Laramie, Wyoming, regarding Matthew Shepard and his untimely death. The play is also unique in that it involves an audience talk-back session at the end of the performance.
While some people may have doubted that this talented group of high schoolers could pull off a show of such serious nature, this production proves once again how incredible the actors, directors, and crew members of this school are.
Starting with the direction, Miranda Leiggi and Chase Taber were able to bring out the humanity of all these characters, reminding the audience that the events of the play are real, and not just something writers made up. In the Friday night talk-back event, Taber mentioned how important it was that each actor portrayed their roles as people, not just lines from a script. The way the two directors staged everything showed just that.
Regarding the acting, every member of the cast for this show was truly outstanding. There was only a twelve person cast in this production, but each cast member had up to 9 or 10 characters to portray, each one vastly different than the others.
Each actor gave a very realistic performance, and it was clear how much time and effort they had put into portraying these people as accurately as possible.
One of the most heart-wrenching moments of the show was Marc Lubman’s monologue at the end of act two as Matthew’s father, when he decides whether or not to wish for Shepard’s killer, Aaron Kinney, to get the death sentence.
A few other outstanding moments were Eric Gracey’s portrayal of Jonas Slonakar, another openly gay man in Laramie. The end of act one, when various actors such as Max Ondik and Maddie Wray describe what it was like being some of the first people to see Shepard at the fence, also stood out in the story.
Additionally, Olivia Shea and Paige Majewski’s ability to balance so many characters in a short period of time was unbelievable, and two of Mason Olhavsky’s roles as Aaron Kinney and Matt Galloway showed how dynamic of an actor he is.
While it’s possible to write pages on how great this entire cast is, the actors are not the only people in the production worth highlighting.
Every part of the crew, from lighting to set to projections, had a powerful impact on how the message of Matthew’s story was portrayed. Nikolaj Folmer, in charge of lighting design, seemed to use different lighting for scenes that were and weren’t part of the chronological story. This effect helped the audience differentiate between Matthew’s story and the scenes that showcased peoples’ thoughts and reactions to what had happened.
The set, which was designed by David Sullivan and Wren Workman, was fairly simple, which worked extremely well for the play. The design emphasized even more that this is a true story. There shouldn’t be a complex set, but one that’s representative of Laramie itself, something that this set portrayed. The projections on the screen behind the set, such as newspaper articles and outdoor scenery, were another genius idea that added another level to each scene.
The story told through The Laramie Project is an extremely important one. While the horrendous hate crimes that the LGBTQ+ community has always been subject to are a difficult topic for most, it was inspiring to see a group of high schoolers take this issue on.
Every aspect of this play was truly moving, from the direction and acting to those working behind the scenes. If this play inspired you and you would like to learn more about Matthew’s story and what you can do to help the LGBTQ+ community, check out the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which was created by his family to raise political and social awareness for people of all genders and sexualities.
By Will Sohn
The fall season is filled with many notable school events like fall sports games, spirit weeks, and the homecoming dance. Perhaps there is no fall event at CR North, however, quite as refreshing as Fall Festival. On Saturday, October 12, the annual Fall Festival had another great success for CR North’s 50 year anniversary.
The event included many school clubs, sports, and other local businesses and vendors. Clubs like FBLA and Science Olympiad as well as Scholar’s Bowl and different National Honor societies had stations and offered clothes, squash, foods, or games and activities for everyone to try. The senior auction and its items like gift cards to local food services, toys, a theater rental at Newton Theater, class rings, parking passes, or extra seats at graduation interested adults and students. Even the swimming team and football team had games and stations. Many of these groups make annual appearances, but this year people anticipated even more vendors and visitors because of CRN’s 50 year Anniversary.
Several FBLA officers who were running the FBLA school-store/CRN clothing stand shared thoughts about their involvement at the festival throughout their four-year high school experience and how this year’s event was different.
Jackson Meehan, a senior, remarked, “I have gone to Fall Festival for many years and this year’s festivities was truly the most enjoyable. Walking around to all the different clubs and business stands is always fun and something I always look forward to.”
Another senior, Tejas Banhatti, said, “I have been helping clubs at Fall Festival since freshman year. For the past four years, I worked at the FBLA booth selling the clearance section and this year I helped the newly-founded ASA club as well. I felt like this year was especially packed because the school advertised North’s 50 year anniversary.”
This was the second year I attended the event and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Walking around the lot and at the different clubs and businesses was very enjoyable for myself and other students to check out other clubs that I am not involved in or local businesses in the Newtown area that I was not aware of.
The Fall Festival is an excellent opportunity for advertisement, recognition, and fun for people of all ages. This yearly occasion ultimately promotes school spirit and cohesiveness between the students, clubs, sports, and Newtown community. Like most years, there were many great appearances from school student organizations as well as local businesses. Hopefully, next year continues to be just as great and even better.
Happy Halloween: A Comic
Student Spotlight: Bailey Coghlan
By Madison O'Leary
Many of us love watching the various productions that Sock ‘N’ Buskin puts on throughout the school year. The lights, the set, the sound effects, the music, the talented actors and actresses: it’s all incredible. However, how many of us think about what goes on behind the scenes? Bailey Coghlan, sophomore assistant stage manager, is happy to provide some insight regarding some of her achievements in Sock ‘N’ Buskin and the amount of work the stage crew puts into each production.
How long have you been part of the Sock N’ Buskin Club, and why did you decide to join?
Bailey: “I’ve been a part of Sock N’ Buskin since my freshman year, and I decided to join because I got involved in choir around the same time. The choir and theater programs are pretty closely linked, so there was a lot of advertisement in my choir classes. So, I decided to try it out.”
What does the role of assistant stage manager entail?
B: “It entails coming to every rehearsal and being on book, which means reading along to catch missed lines. It also means setting all the props and making sure that the show runs smoothly. Sometimes, it means helping with costume changes and set changes, but basically, you’re trying to get everyone into order so they can do their own job. You’re the person who knows what needs to happen at any given point in the show, and you’re advising other people in carrying out their roles.”
What is your favorite part of being on stage crew?
B: “My favorite part about being an assistant stage manager is being able to make a greater whole, with everybody working together and making a really great production and being able to work with so many talented people.”
How has this organization positively impacted you?
B: “Sock ‘N’ Buskin has given me the opportunity to make a lot of friends, and the organization has taught me how to organize and work with other people, especially as a board member.”
What has been your favorite production so far, and why?
B: “My favorite production so far probably is Noises Off because I was just a freshman when it happened, and the set was so amazing. There were so many people working on it, and it made me enamored of the whole club.”
How much work really goes into each production?
B: “There are so many hours behind the scenes of rehearsal time and building the sets. Students are the ones who build the sets, and I would say there’s varying levels of participation, but a lot of people put in 10 to 100 hours on each show.”
What do you believe has been your biggest accomplishment so far in Sock N’ Buskin?
B: “My proudest achievement was getting inducted into the International Thespian Society last year. I got 100 hours through set and production hours and doing things for the club. I was recognized as such, and I’m still a member. It’s one of the things I’m very proud of. “
What can we look forward to in the upcoming production of Spamalot?
B: “It’s really funny, and there’s a lot of different forms of comedy. It’s very funny musically, and you’ll find times where you’re just laughing out loud at the absurdity. I think our actors execute it very well.”
Sock ‘N’ Buskin showcases Spamalot on May 2, 3, and 4 at 7 PM each night.