For a small group of students in the Class of 2015, Harker’s commencement exercises were their second graduation in as many days. Twenty-nine Harker Conservatory certificate students changed their status from candidates to graduates at the 14th annual Senior Showcase on May 22, held at the beautiful Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater in San Jose.
These artists completed a four-year guided course through the upper school performing arts department – the Conservatory – mentored by teachers in all the disciplines, with particular emphasis in one: vocal music, instrumental music, dance, theater, musical theater or technical theater. Senior Showcase is a culmination of those years of study, with the seniors providing guests in the packed theater with snapshots from their accumulated portfolios.
Actors presented scenes ranging from the comedy of Neil Simon and Steve Martin to the heartwrenching drama of Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America.” Dancers raised the roof with resounding numbers they choreographed themselves, celebrating everything from an intimate pas de deux to hip-hop to Bollywood. Instrumental candidates mesmerized the audience with haunting renditions of “Theme from Schindler’s List,” Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen” and a Kodaly cello sonata, among others. Musical theater performers merged scene and song from shows across the decades, including “The Producers,” “Grand Hotel” and “Evita.” This year’s three technical theater candidates handled the stage management, scene changes, lighting and sound for the performance.
The evening ended with the formal presentation of their certificates by the performing arts faculty, and a final group bow, greeted with a well-deserved standing ovation by the many friends, family members, teachers and administrators who supported them on their journey through the program. Most group members intend to pursue this artistic passion in college, with a handful planning to major and pursue careers in the performing arts.
Congratulations to the Conservatory Certificate Programs’ Class of 2015:
Theater: Jai Ahuja, Juhi Muthal, Zoë Woehrmann; Dance: Noel Banerjee, Ashir Bansal, Darby Millard, Erika Olsen, Sindhu Ravuri, Jacqui Villarreal; Instrumental Music: Thyne Boonmark, Lekha Chirala, Eugene Gil, Juhi Gupta, Matthew Huang, Rishabh Jain, Sahana Rangarajan, Nikhil Singh, Julia Wang, Madelyn Wang, Helen Wu; Musical Theater: Ishanya Anthapur, Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari, Caroline Howells, Madi Lang-Ree, Glenn Reddy; Vocal Music: Shreya Maheshwari; Technical Theater: Jeremy Binkley, Delaney Martin, Alexander Thomas.