A backstage look of Harker’s most diverse and well-loved performance


Esha Gohil

Charlotte Blanc (11) executed a stag leap with her arms out while performing a self choreographed jazz-contemporary piece for Hoscars. In just 14 acts and one hour, around 80 student performers sang, danced and magicked their way into the hearts and memories of the Harker community during Hoscars on March 8.

by Esha Gohil, Reporter

Swarms of singers from various choral groups exit the stage, having finished a playful Harker themed rendition of the song “Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent”. As the show ended,  senior host Matthew Hajjar announced the start time of the next class, the coordinator of the show, Neil Ramaswamy (12), ran out and shouted “Hey! That’s my line!” Busting through the door leading from onstage to backstage, he yelled out, “I added that part in! ‘Cause why not guys, we’re done! ”

In just 14 acts and one hour, around 80 student performers sang, danced and magicked their way into the hearts and memories of the Harker community. However mesmerizing these performances are, though, most of Harker’s students and faculty barely think twice about the work each performer puts into their self-directed routines. In the week leading up to Hoscars, groups spent countless hours rehearsing, teaching and perfecting their acts.

For coordinators in student council, the week of March 4 was spent setting up and generating buzz around campus. Student council splits into three committees: judging, who takes care of auditions; publicity, who makes announcements; and tech, who manages the stage.  

Jason Lin (10) led the Hoscars publicity team.

I decided to split advertisement into two categories: school meeting announcements and digital adverts. Following that approach, our team worked together to cook up some pretty cool stuff,” he said, “For instance, Roma Gandhi [(11)] was in charge of making a fantastic poster, Dawson Chen [(9)] filmed some awesome clips for the Avengers-themed trailer and I put myself in charge of editing. I really love great-looking posters and videos, so this role was super fun for me.

Some faces were seen both onstage and offstage, like Shania Wang (12), who performed in the show while also working on it behind the scenes.

Shania, who wrote the show order and helped judge auditions, said, “One of the things that the judging committee cares a lot about, besides diversity of acts, is diversity of people. If there’s someone that is less “out there” with their talents, we like to choose them over someone who’s always in front of the school.”

For performers, the week before consisted of long practices either in groups or as a solo. An all-senior band performed the song “Somewhere Only We Know” by the rock band Keane. The band consists of six members: lead singer Kelsey Wu, electric guitarist Karan Gupta, acoustic guitarist Zach Wong, bassist Jacob Kim, drummer Logan Frank and pianist Shania Wang.

They had played together only once before, for Kelsey’s 16th birthday, but they had used a track. They rehearsed most days in the week leading up to the show, but because of the close friendship between the six and relaxed environment in which they worked, they did not feel overwhelmed.

The dynamic has always been really accepting and warm. There’s also a lot of banter and roasting thrown around, but it’s always out of love and support,” said Kelsey. “That’s why rehearsals are always really fun.

Another group, SUS4, performed the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. The singing ensemble has members ranging from freshmen to seniors. Before they went on, the group, dressed in blue, came together to practice one final time.

Member Joel Morel (11) said before the show, “I can say for myself that I feel excited and that I’m going to use this negative, excited energy to enhance my performance and try to pump up the energy for the audience to connect with them more.”

Audience members also noted the importance of the show.

“As a freshman, I’d never watched Hoscars before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it definitely exceeded my expectations and made me realize how much talent there is at Harker that should be showcased,” Yejin Song (9) said.