Magnet Arts Night 2018

by Elaine Cheng and Flora Li '19 for Silver Quest

The Magnet Program hosted its 29th Magnet Arts Night (MAN) on February 23. Directed by senior Michael Yin, junior Priyanka Ravi, and sophomore Sophia Weng, along with math teacher Mr. Edward Kirk, the annual event showcases the many talents of Magnet students.

Emcees Soumith Gadila, Jonah Nan, Elijah Schulman, and Alice Varughese entertained throughout the night. They told jokes, made puns, and wittily compared Mr. Paul’s fine appearance to Ryan Gosling’s.

The magnet’s intrinsic legacy of classical instrumental virtuosity was impressively displayed in the opening act with violinist Ryan Cho and pianist Justin Hung performing Zigeunerweisen by Pablo de Sarasate. Later, sophomore Evan Hu awed the audience with a breathtaking rendition of Chopin’s Scherzo No.2.

Many students also showcased their spectacular dance skills, beginning with Ankitha Durvasula and Annie Zhao performing Earbuddies, a unique remix that featured classical Indian and Chinese dance styles. Freshman Valentina Simon displayed her incredible flexibility and technique with a contemporary number called Quicksilver, choreographed by Lorraine Spiegler. The next dance event did not fail to disappoint: the annual Magnet Masti, a Bollywood dance medley featuring many upperclassmen of Indian descent––and some not.

Alex Wang performed the martial arts forms Shihoken and Lohai with admirable focus and precision and got the crowd roaring with applause when he split a wooden board in half, featuring an assist from Michael Yin.

Mr. Donaldson and Mrs. Duval, together with Lydia Wang and Will Donaldson, represented the teachers well with their harmonious performance of Great High Mountain by Grady H. May. Alice Zhang also amazed the crowd with her magnificent vocal talent, performing Aaron Copland’s Long Time Ago accompanied by Avery Liou. Sarah Gao and Michael Yin captured all our hearts with their ardent yet delicate vocal performance of “All I Ask of You” from the Phantom of the Opera, accompanied by Edward Lee, Kevin Jiang, and Annie Zhao. On a more humorous note, juniors Courtney Wilson, Dana Muhmed, and Isabella DeClue got the crowd laughing with their parody of Bo Burnham’s “Lower Your Expectations” that commented on the trials of single magnets.

The first act of the night concluded with a crowd favorite—Guang Cui’s original rap, “I’m Rich Too.” Over half the audience left their seats to cheer wildly in the pit, eagerly receiving Guang’s discarded violin and jacket and rejoicing at the news of his merchandise release.

During the intermission, Elana Elman and Bennett Coukos-Wiley kept everyone engaged with the instrumental “Undertale Duets” by Toby Fox.

Act Two opened with seniors Noah Kim, Haron Adbaru, Divya John, Perry Beamer, Mikaela Moore, and Aran Mazariegos, who performed a jazzy rendition of Grover Washington Jr.’s “Just the Two of Us,” opting to wear matching black tops, khakis, and shades. Hermela Mengesha and Erin Obaonrin then followed by performing the night’s only spoken word act, passionately delivering the poem “Litany” by Mahogany L. Browne.

Seniors Ari Roos and Chico Morales took us on a nostalgic ride through the magnet journey with their performance of “Factualitatious,” an original rap song. Rahul Jain also debuted his original song Toxic, an emotional piece sung beautifully by Mehana Daftary and Nikita Singh.

Another crowd-pleaser was Carl Levan, Aaron Levan, and Max Frissell’s rendition of ZZYZX Rd. by Stone Sour. The auditorium was lit up by waving smartphone flashlights, creating an atmosphere similar to that of a real rock concert. Later, Tiffany Mao, Avery Liou, Soyoung Hong, Sarah Gao, Maggie Lin, Marissa He, and Jek Seo performed a blazing dance cover of “Fire” by BTS.

With acutely proficient coordination of his hands and voice to the music, freshman Sujay Swain amazed the crowd with his Teen Taal Tabla Solo. Then, Mehana Daftary, Sarah Gao, and Lydia Wang performed an acapella rendition of the tradition tune “The Parting Glass,” a fitting ending for an incredible night of performances.

The highlight of Magnet Arts Night certainly cannot be forgotten––the Senior Act! The highly-anticipated performance featured numerous members of the class of 2018, as they donned the outfits of the Magnet’s beloved teachers, and reflected on their four years in the Magnet program, revisiting Physics of Music, Wallops Island and PuzzlePalooza. Finally, MAN concluded with all the seniors in the audience joining the performers on stage for a special class memory, dancing to Michael Yin’s beatboxing and Guang Cui’s mad rhymes.

Magnet Arts Night would not possible without the wonderful students working in Stage Crew, Sound, and Lights, nor without the help of all of the superb teachers who helped judge auditions and work out logistical issues. If you are interested in being a part of a long-running Magnet tradition, be sure to participate in the MAN auditions held annually in December!