2017 performing arts certificate seniors honored at annual Senior Showcase


Tiffany Wong

The performing seniors line up across the stage at the end of yesterday’s Senior Showcase to receive their certificates of completion from faculty members of Harker’s performing arts department. The event was held at Foothill College’s Smithwick Theater from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

by Katherine Zhang and Tiffany Wong

Senior members of the upper school conservatory’s Certificate Program performed in yesterday’s Senior Showcase at Foothill College’s Smithwick Theater from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

As part of the program, each senior majored in one field of performing arts over a four-year period. Participants of the program chose to focus on vocal music, instrumental music, dance, theater, musical theater or technical theater.

Each senior performed a piece showcasing his or her development in their chosen area of study. After the end of the concert, performing arts department faculty officially graduated the seniors from the program and gave each performer their certificates of completion.

“They’re an incredible class. My students in particular are extremely talented, and a lot of them are going on to pursue music in college, and they were very well-prepared,” instrumental music teacher Chris Florio said. “They really put their hearts into it, and really played well, and it was great.”

The featured seniors included dance majors Tamlyn Doll, Hazal Gurcan, Surabhi Rao and David Zhu; instrumental music majors Cuebeom Choi, Maile Chung, Jack Farnham, May Gao, Alexa Gross, Aashish Jain, Soham Khan, Lauren Liu, Edward Oh, Judy Pan, Shekar Ramaswamy, Andrew Rule, Vedaad Shakib, Melinda Wisdom and Alex Youn; musical theater majors Shivani Awasthi, Zahra Budhwani, Priyanka Chilukuri, Anahita Far, Chetana Kalidindi, Sara Pachauri, Medha Shah and Kayvon Solaimanpour; theater majors Sana Aladin, Sravya Cherukuri, Emre Ezer, Marina Newman, Amrita Singh and Brandon Stoll and vocal music major Mia Giammona.

“[Performing] was terrifying, and also bittersweet. I’m going to miss all these people so much,” Amrita, who performed the theater piece “Chapter Two” by Neil Simon with fellow theater major Brandon, said. “I feel like [the certificate program] helped me find my voice. All the teachers have been such great mentors and so kind. It’s such a supportive and nurturing program, and I love it.”

Many friends and family of the graduating seniors came to the event to celebrate with flowers, posters and pictures to commemorate the students’ performances.

“Just looking at the seniors up there—and I know many of them from all the shows I’ve done—is just sort of heartbreaking, but I’m so proud of them and of how far they’ve come. Everyone was absolutely fantastic,” Senior Showcase attendee Neha Premkumar (10) said. “I can’t wait to see what they do in the future.”

Prior to the certificate students’ performances, performing arts teachers Laura Lang-Ree, Susan Nace, Carl Oser, Jeffrey Draper, Rachelle Haun, Karl Kuehn, Chris Florio and Brian Larsen hosted the annual Hammies award ceremony and honored students from upper school vocal, theater, dance and instrumental groups for their achievements and contributions to Harker’s performing arts community. Hammies attendees were also served dinner before the start of the Senior Showcase at 7 p.m.