Sequel to fall Quadchella extends upper school talent

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Medha Yarlagadda

Seniors Anya Warrier and Malar Bala sang “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by the Fugees. The second part of Quadchella occurred last Thursday, Nov. 4, during long lunch.

by Alena Suleiman, Reporter

A clear voice accompanied by a gentle, bittersweet melody —  strummed guitar and played on piano — floats through the air. As the song reaches its chorus, two more voices join harmoniously. One student claps to the beat, and the entire audience joins, some swaying to the soft rhythm. The song closes on a few chords and notes, and after a moment of silence, the audience erupts into applause, cheering for Ashley Ma (11), Jessica Tang (11), Rahul Mulpuri (11), Trinity Chan (12), Dawson Chen (12), Reagan Ka (12) and Nina Franz (11) as they closed Quadchella with “Dried Flowers” (ドライフラワー ) by Yuuri. 

Around 150 students attended the sequel to the first Quadchella of the year last Thursday, Nov. 4,  to enjoy student and faculty talent. Quadchella occurred during the second half of long lunch, featuring a total eight performances that ranged from singing to dancing to bagpipe-playing. Unlike the first part of fall Quadchella, Associated Student Body (ASB) set up a tarp so that more audience members could attend, sitting on not only the lunch tables but also the ground.

Upper school history and social science teacher Dr. Julie Turchin opened the show, performing a heart-wrenching voice cover of “She Used to Be Mine” from the album “Waitress” by Sara Bareilles while also playing the piano. Continuing the heartbreak theme, next, seniors Anya Warrier and Malar Bala sang “Killing Me Softly With His Song” by the Fugees with an edgy twist, accompanying their voices with electric guitar and keyboard. Following the duo, sophomore Selina Chen performed “Six” by Sleeping at Last.

Just in time for a dance break, Nupur Gupta (11) strutted and twirled to “Butterflies (with Starrah & Four Tet)” by Skrillex, donning a sparkly pink jacket and an infectious smile. The audience clapped in rhythm to the upbeat song, cheering her on. Then, Rupert Chen (11) played the bagpipes in a traditional Scottish kilt, impressing the audience with his rare talent.

“I think the bagpipes performance was my favorite,” Luke Mehta (10) said. “I just thought it was very different and unique, and I liked the diversity in all the performances.”

Following Rupert’s instrumental performance, juniors Samvita Gautham and Namrata Karra sang a mashup of “Burn” from the “Hamilton” soundtrack by Phillipa Soo and “traitor” by Olivia Rodrigo, attracting both musical and pop fans.

Seniors Caden Lin and Kailash Ranganathan then performed a self-choreographed routine, which they introduced as an “inspirational and magical dance involving two young males and a yoga ball.” Combined with Adele’s dramatic “Hello,” the duo’s stoic faces yet humorous dance moves drew intense laughter and applause from the audience. 

“It was very nerve wracking at first, but I think the crowd was really nice,” Kailash said. “We did not expect to get so much cheering, and that made the experience really good.”

I think that it was really nice to see that [Quadchella] was just as exciting as usual. The fact that it wasn’t different from the previous ones I’ve attended was actually very comforting.”

— Kailash Ranganathan (12)

Closing the talent show on a sweet note, Advanced Placement (AP) Japanese students performed “Dried Flowers” (ドライフラワー ) by Yuuri. Reagan, who also sang at the first Quadchella, appreciated her classmates and those who came to watch her.

“I was a lot less nervous, not because it was my second time, but because there are so many other people performing with me,” Reagan said. “I felt really comfortable with my group because we’re all really good friends in Japanese, so it was a really fun experience.”

Performers as well as audience members enjoyed the acts, recognizing how Quadchella brought members of the community together to enjoy student and faculty talent.

“[Quadchella] was a great time for community bonding, which I thought was really, really cool,” Luke said.

Others, especially students new to the upper school campus, appreciated Quadchella’s return to in-person format after the online Zoomchella last year.

“There’s definitely a big difference [in person] because now you can see everybody’s reactions and physically see the community all come around and to watch people perform,” Meishin Yen (10), a Student Activities Board (SAB) representative who helped to promote Quadchella, said. “It seemed like a more fun event for Harker, instead of just videos uploaded.”

On the other hand, upperclassmen who attended previous Quadchellas expressed their happiness in how — despite the addition of masks and the ever-present danger of the pandemic — the event remained relatively the same in the way it brought joy to the campus.

“I think that it was really nice to see that [Quadchella] was just as exciting as usual,” Kailash said. “So the fact that it wasn’t different from the previous ones I’ve attended was actually very comforting.”

As a biannual show, students and faculty can look forward to another Quadchella in May.