Downbeat travels around the Bay Area during their annual Winter Tour


Kathy Fang

Downbeat wraps up their tour last Friday with their final show of the day, at the upper school’s Patil Theater. Their closing number, pictured here, was a dance number, “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus,” featuring soloist Henry Wiese (12).

by Sriya Batchu , Reporter

Last Friday, Downbeat went on their annual winter tour where they sang and spread cheer at six different stops.

The group left the upper school around 9 a.m. and visited the preschool campus, where they sang carols to the young children. Their next stop took them all the way to perform and hand out baked goods at the Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, which serves a hot meal to around 700 homeless people a day.

“I loved interacting with all the people that we met. It’s so fulfilling to sing for people who sometimes don’t really have much, especially during the holidays,” said Downbeat member Emily Chen (12).

Following the Glide Memorial Church, the group visited the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. They were able to sing in various rooms and hallways before handing out candy canes to the nurses. After the children’s hospital, the performers visited the Forum Retirement Center, where they sang in the dining hall before spitting into quartets and singing carols in various rooms.

“My favorite spot was at the forum because when we started singing ‘Silent Night,’ they started singing with us. It was such a wholesome experience,” said Alexander (Alex) Kumar.

Their final stop was the upper school, where they followed various performing arts groups from the middle school in an evening show. At the upper school, the choir performed a variety of songs, starting with “Angels We Have Heard on High” followed by “Sevion,” a Hanukkah song.

After “Sevion,” Downbeat performed an upbeat “Feliz Navidad” which was followed by Billie Eilish’s “Lovely” and “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho,” both of which will be taken to a high school a cappella competition later in the school year. The final songs included “Silent Night” and “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.”

Downbeat’s redition of “Lovely” was arranged by Max Lee, a senior in the choral group. When Downbeat traveled to an a cappella competition last year, they realized that some groups were student led and made their own pieces. Max decided to rise up to the challenge and arrange a piece for Downbeat.

“I spent a long while on this piece. I wrote it pretty quick, but I spent tons of time just checking out different videos of people performing the song to get ideas and thinking about what this piece [means] and how I [could] convey that in my writing,’” said Max.

At the end of the night, Downbeat member Joel Morel (12) is thankful for the opportunity to share the group’s music with audiences near and far.

“We have a gift and it’s our duty to share it with the world,” said Joel.

Kathy Fang