Last week, the first ever Quadchella invited the upper school community to put its talents on display in a short lunchtime festival. The showcase, whose name is a play on that of the famous southern California music festival Coachella, primarily featured musical performances, in a variety of styles, by students and some faculty.
Upper school learning, innovation and design director Diane Main and English teacher Christopher Hurshman opened the show with an acoustic rendition of Passenger’s “Let Me Go,” with Main singing and Hurshman playing guitar. Other performances included a recital of Chopin’s “Fantasie Impromptu” by Audrey Liu, grade 9; senior Millie Lin singing “Always True to You in My Fashion” from the musical “Kiss Me, Kate”; and the closer, an instrumental performance with senior Bobby Schick and help desk operator Alejandro Osorio on saxophone and Neil Ramaswamy, grade 11, on drums.
“The idea of Quadchella was actually inspired by something that the ASB at Palo Alto High School held earlier in September,” said junior Shania Wang, who is on student council’s committee of student events. After seeing snippets of Palo Alto’s own Quadchella on Snapchat, Harker ASB treasurer Megan Huynh, grade 12, “reached out about it being a really cool idea,” Wang said.
Wang encouraged Harker students and staff to show talents of which the community may not have been aware. “I feel that there are so many people that have some amazing talents that a lot of us don’t know about, so I was hoping they could use this chance,” she said. “Regarding staff, I think it’s really cool seeing teachers outside of the classroom doing amazing things.”
Performers for the event were pulled together over a period of just one month, after an announcement at an early-October school meeting and frequent posts by Student Council members on social media.
In addition to the music, the event included activities such as face (and banana) painting and a photo booth, and students could be seen blowing bubbles throughout the upper school’s auxiliary gym, where the event was held due to uncooperative weather.
Despite initial misgivings, Wang expressed happiness with how Quadchella turned out. “At first, I was really concerned with the weather forecast and possibility of rain,” she said. “Just in general, I was scared that it wouldn’t be well-received or people wouldn’t attend, but it literally made my day to see so much of the community, from students to teachers, attend.”
Feedback from classmates so far has been positive, Wang reported: “They all told me that they really loved it and had a great time, which was amazing to hear. A lot of them also were super interested in performing for Quadchella, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Wang hopes to organize one more Quadchella before the school year is out, and said that last week’s event gave her a much better idea of how to execute it. “I don’t really know of any concrete ideas, but I definitely hope to have more performances of different types,” she said. “Maybe in the future, we can hold in the actual Quad so that it lives up to its name of Quadchella.”