Student-musicians kicked off the end-of-year festivities with a bang. Several student bands performed in the Jazz-Rock-Pop Spring Concert on Saturday, May 15, and Lorelai Lee Swanek ’21 played her first-ever solo recital on Sunday, May 16. These were the first live concert events held this school year, with each offering limited in-person seating as well as the option to watch via livestream both remotely and on the projector in the Steers Center.
The Jazz-Rock-Pop Spring Concert was held in Maguire Auditorium and featured student renditions of many well-known songs, including "I’m Not the Only One" by Sam Smith, "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder, "Who’s Lovin’ You" by Smokey Robinson, "When the Saints Come Marching In" by Luther G. Presley, "Diamonds" by Rihanna, and "Take Me to Church" by Hozier. The program included 23 songs, and students in each of the bands spent the past several months preparing for the show. Members of the Contemporary Music Band included Nick Graham ’21 on drums, Fatima Nda-Isaiah ’21 and Ali King ’22 on vocals, Xavier Leone ’23 on bass, and Sebastian Tseng ’21 on piano. The Jazz-Rock-Pop Ensemble was composed of students Nick Graham ’21 on drums; Andrew Xu ’21 on trombone; Chigozie Dike and Mark “Maverick” Foster ’22 on tenor saxophone; Ryan DeSantis ’22, Conor Koh ’23, and Bryce Stone ’23 on trumpet; and Xavier Leone ’23 on alto saxophone. The Canterbury Jazz Horn Quartet included Andrew Xu ’21 on trombone, Maverick Foster ’22 on tenor saxophone, Conor Koh ’23 on trumpet, and Xavier Leone ’23 on baritone saxophone. The newly formed Duo Band featured Yurou Li ’21 and Xinyi (Lisa) Weng ’23 on vocals, and Sebastian Tseng ’21 on piano.
This was the final concert performance as Canterbury students for Sixth Form musicians, and they expressed gratitude for being able to play one last time with friends and faculty present. Sebastian ’21 (Boston University ’25), who played piano with both the Contemporary Music Band and the Duo Band, shared, “It was a pleasure being able to perform for the last time at Canterbury with an audience. I’m thankful in particular for being able to perform my favorite J-Pop tune "Daddy Daddy Do" (Masayuki Suzuki). It’s been a privilege performing with the band over the last four years.” Andrew ’21, who played trombone in the Canterbury Jazz Horn Quartet and the Jazz-Rock-Pop ensemble said that he was thankful to be back on stage, and looks forward to pursuing music at Tufts University, MA: “I've been with the Canterbury music program for the last four years, and it felt strange not having a concert this [fall and winter]. But once I got back on stage, I remembered how much fun it was to perform. After an amazing four years, I look forward to continuing my passion for music and performing beyond Canterbury.”
Lorelai Lee Swanek ’21 has been playing piano for 13 years and has performed in—and won!—competitions throughout the northeast for her skill, but Sunday, May 16, marked her first solo recital. Held in the L. Michael Sheehy ’56 Chorale Classroom, Lorelai’s performance treated the audience to a program of works from Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, and Mendelssohn that she curated. Lorelai shared, “I haven't performed for a live audience since February 2020, so having my friends and teachers at the concert with me was very special. I was able to draw energy from the audience and really put my soul into each note. I am grateful for the opportunity to give a senior recital to showcase all of the repertoires I've worked on in high school.” She continued, “During the concert, I dedicated my performance of Beethoven's Piano Sonata no. 17 in D Minor "The Tempest" to my history teacher Mr. Diamond. Mr. Diamond has been an amazing mentor for the past three years and he shares my love and knowledge of classical music.” Lorelai will attend Oberlin College, OH, in the fall and continue her music studies there.
Lorelai also plays violin in Canterbury’s Vocal and Instrumental ensembles, which will perform their first and final concert of the year in the Chapel of our Lady on May 21. Well done to all our talented and hard-working musicians!