This past Thursday was Ridgewood High School’s first Maroon and White showcase of the year. The showcase consisted of performances by students at the high school as well as an art gallery with the works of the high school’s art students.
The first performer was junior Markus Ryan who played the piece “Etude Fantasy” by Stephen Bulla on his trumpet. The Maroon and White showcase on Thursday was Markus’s first ever Maroon and White Recital. Markus is involved in several of the band electives the high school has to offer liike Marching Band, Brass Ensemble, and the Big Band. In the future Markus plans to major in pre-med and either minor or double major in music performance.
The second performer of the evening was junior Rowan Mastrangelo, a baritone who sang the songs “Sonntag” composed by Johannes Brahms and “The Roadside Fire” composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. For “Sonntag” Rowan sang not in English for his performance but German. Despite studying voice for only three years, Rowan has already accomplished so much. Currently he is a part of the Chamber Choir and also the New Jersey Region 1 Choir which he got accepted into during his freshman year. Along with these choirs Rowan is also heavily involved in the New Players Company at RHS and recently played the lead role of Gatsby in the recent New Players Production of the Great Gatsby. In addition to these current activities Rowan has also been a part of both of Ridgewood High School’s male acapella groups East 627 and Maroon Men.
The third performer of the night was the youngest peformer, freshman Karen Matsuura, who played piano. Karen played the piece “Sonta No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13 Pathetique” by Beethoven. In addition to playing piano Karen is currently a member of the RHS Symphonic Orchestra, where she plays violin. So far Karen has played at Carnegie Hall not once but twice, and has placed second in three Little Mozart competions up against several other performers. Outside of performing Karen also was part of the RHS JV Tennis team this past season.
The fourth performer was senior Sanjna Rajagopalan, a soprano who sang the songs “Lascia ch’io pianga” composed by George Frideric Handel, “Claire De Lune” composed by Joseph Szulc, and “I Loves You, Peggy” composed by George Gershwin. Thursday’s Maroon and White Showcase was Sanjna’s third showcase and currently she is studying classical voice at Manhattan School of Music Precollege. Before being a part of Manhattan School of Music Precollege Sanjna had been a vocal student for twelve years and for five of those years she studied Indian classical voice while living in Banaglore, India. In the future Sanjna plans on studying classical voice as part of a double major in college.
The fifth performer of the night was junior Sunny Rhew who performed “Solo de Concours” composed by Henri Rabaud on the clarinet. Sunny began studying clarinet from the young age of nine years old. So far she has performed in several masterclasses and has been a member of the New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program since 2019. In addition to this Sunny has won several prizes both nationally and internationally for her clarinet performance. To name a few, she won a silver medal in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2020 and has won prizes in the American Protégé International Woodwinds and Brass Competion and the Manhattan International Music Competition. Sunny has also performed at significant venues such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Currently, Sunny is a member of the RHS wind ensemble and is a finalist at NPR’s From The Top this year. She also shares her passion for music and helps others by being a part of the Camerata Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, which raises money for fundraisers and events to support children battling leukemia by performing at nurshing homes and hospitals.
The final performer of the evening was senior Jiah Lee who performed the pieces “Sonata No. 3 in C Major” composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Caprice for Solo Violin, Op. 1, No. 20” composed by Niccolo Paganini and “Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63” by Sergei Prokofiev. Jiah started playing violin at the age of eight and also piano at the age of four. In 2017, she began to start to participate in competions and has received awards in several international competions such as the VIVO International Music Competition and the Crescendo International Music Competition. She has also taken several masterclasses and has performed in both the Carnegie and Merkins Concert Hall in New York City. Currently Jiah is a member of the RHS Chamber Orchestra and is also in her fourth year as a member of the New York Symphony Orchestra first violin section. As well as playing music, Jiah also enjoys writing and composing. In the future Jiah plans on doing a double major in music and psychology in college.
In addition to the performances, the Maroon and White Showcase on Thursday displayed artworks of several students each with their own distinct art styles in an exhibition.
For Lulu Xu, a senior, the Maroon and White Showcase on Thursday was her second Maroon and White Exhibit. Throughout high school Lulu has been taking art classes every year. In her junior year she just completed Studio Art II and she is currently taking Advanced Portfolio Development. The main medium Lulu works with is digital art, although she does work with other mediums as well. In the future Lulu hopes to continue to pursue art and design.
Aurdrey Jerkovich was the second senior who displayed her work in the Maroon and White Exhibition on Thursday. The Thursday exhibition was her first ever Maroon and White Exhibition. In high school Audrey took three introductory art classes and also AP Studio I which led her into AP Studio II which she is currently taking now. In her exhibition Audrey showcased her works that she did with several different mediums.
Brigitte Wala was the third senior who displayed her work in the exhibition on Thursday. As a freshman Brigitte took the class Watercolor I and in junior year she took AP Studio Art I. Currently she is enrolled in the class AP Studio Art II. Ouside of RHS Brigitte also art classes at the Ridgewood Art Institute. The subjects of Brigitte’s work are often about the environment and animals, especially marine life.
The fourth senior who displayed her work on Thursday was Ashlee Fong. Ashlee is heavily into learning about the arts and Thursday was the third time she was displaying her work in the Maroon and White Exhibiton. Her artwork featured many locations in Bergen County in order to promote cultural preservation. Along with these opportunities Ashlee was also lucky enough to be a 2020 Ridgewood Arts Foundation Scholarship recipient. In her senior year she plans to continue her art education in Advanced Portfolio Development.
The last artist who displayed her work at the exhibition, was the youngest, junior Sarah Jeong. Thursday was Sarah’s first time displaying her artwork in a physical Maroon and White Exhibiton despite having been part of Maroon and White since freshman year. So far Sarah has used all three of her electives to be some form of an art class. She is interested in the attempt of creating aesthetically pleasing and compelling imagery. Sarah especially enjoys large canvases and experimenting with multiple styles and mediums. Sarah started independently learning art in middle school and she is currently enrolled in AP Studio Art I.
Overall, Thursday’s Maroon and White Showcase was one that shouldn’t have been missed. Everyone who performed was incredibly talented and always surpised you with truly showcasing how far they could go. The singers Sanjna and Rowan did this by reaching some incredibly high notes effortlessly and the performers Markus, Karen, Sunny and Jiah did this by unexpectedly changing tempo within their pieces or just being so absorbed in their craft that you can’t help but get chills simply from just watching them. Likewise, the artists also exceeded expectations. All of them did this by forcing you to get lost in their artwork and truly make you think about what they had painted or drawn and what the deeper meaning was behind their works. The next Maroon and White showcase will take place on January 20, 2022 so mark your calendars and make sure you don’t miss it!
Arts and Culture Editor
Graphic: Preethika Rao