Harker’s Conservatory graduates shone on the Blackford stage on April 22 during Harker’s 10th annual Senior Showcase. Featuring 33 performers from every discipline – theater, musical theater, technical theater, vocal music, instrumental music and dance – it was the largest showcase in the Conservatory’s history.
The fast-paced two-and-a-half hour show included everything from high-energy dance numbers to stirring dramatic scenes to inspiring instrumental and vocal pieces. Splendid piano accompaniment was provided by Melissa Lin. Production values were high as usual, with Conservatory candidates Michael Prutton and Araby Martin handling sound and lights, respectively, as their part of the showcase. Lead-off performer John Ammatuna demonstrated the great use of tech by descending from the ceiling on a swing for his infectiously upbeat performance of “Footloose,” from the film of the same name.
Two performers brought their siblings on stage to duet with them: Francesca Nagle’s brother, Nico, grade 10, joined her on guitar while she sang and played banjo on “Wake Up Everybody” by John Whitehead, Gene McFadden and Victor Carstarphen; and Warren Kwong had his sister, Audrey, a Conservatory graduate in 2007, play violin for his virtuoso viola/violin duet. Other performances featured multiple graduates, including Pierre Gerard and Amal Asghar acting a scene from Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” and the final dance performance of Anisha Agarwal and Malika Mehrotra, which featured an impressive ensemble of no fewer than 14 dancers.
The night’s masters of ceremony were Tina Crnko and Cole Manaster, both grade 11, who introduced every performer and kept the crowd warm between performances with humorous banter.
At the end of the show, the featured performers were presented with their plaques from the Conservatory advisors, signifying their graduation from the elite program.
This year’s Harker Conservatory graduates are:
Anisha Agarwal (Dance), John Ammatuna (Musical Theater), Amal Asghar (Theater), Samir Asthana (Theater), Clara Blickenstaff (Musical Theater), Daniel Cho (Musical Theater), Jennifer Dai (Instrumental Music), Carmen Das-Grande (Dance), Lydia Demissachew (Instrumental Music), Mallika Dhaliwal (Vocal Music), Katharine Forsberg (Dance), Pierre Gerard (Theater), Nidhi Gandhi (Instrumental Music), Vrinda Goel (Vocal Music), Michelle Holt (Vocal Music), Warren Kwong (Instrumental Music), Christina Li (Vocal Music), Araby S. H. Martin (Technical Theater), Malika Mehrotra (Dance), Daisy Mohrman (Dance), Shireen Moshkelani (Vocal Music), Nirjhar Mundkur (Musical Theater), Francesca Nagle (Instrumental Music), Aditya Parige (Theater), Michael Prutton (Technical Theater), Ava Rezvani (Instrumental Music), James Seifert (Musical Theater), Naomi So (Dance), Catherine Stiles (Instrumental Music), Allika Walvekar (Musical Theater), Michelle Vu (Dance), Jason Young (Instrumental Music) and Olivia Zhu (Dance).
Their Harker faculty advisors are:
Laura Lang-Ree (Musical Theater), Jeffrey Draper (Theater), Brian Larsen (Technical Theater), Catherine Snider (Vocal Music), Susan Nace (Vocal Music), Chris Florio (Instrumental Music) and Laura Rae (Dance).