Earth-Day themed Quadchella returns for spring


Emma Gao

Jason Shim (9) applauds after seniors Caden Lin and Kailash Ranganathan’s yoga ball performance at Quadchella: Spring into Climate Action. The event, which occurred on Earth Day, concluded a series of events hosted by Green Team during Earth Week, including the Buy Better Boba initiative.

by Desiree Luo, Co-Assistant Sports Editor

Additional reporting by Selina Xu.

Upper school students and faculty gathered in the quad to watch musical, dance and comedic acts by their peers and colleagues at the Earth Day-themed Quadchella during lunch on April 22.

‘[I went because] I liked the last Quadchella [in the fall],” audience member Ellie Schmidt (10) said. “It gives us a chance to come together and enjoy each other’s talents that we normally wouldn’t see. A lot of my friends went, and it was in a very convenient place.”

Branded “Spring Into Climate Action,” this recent Quadchella coincided with Earth Day. It also concluded Earth Week, during which the upper school Green Team promoted sustainability and environmental awareness with events and initiatives such as “Buy Better Boba” and the clothing drive. Members of the Student Events Committee of the Student Council, who also organized the two-part Quadchella last fall, collaborated with Green Team officers to relate the show to current environmental issues ranging from sustainability to climate change.

According to junior student council representative and Student Events Committee Head Jacob Huang, the second Quadchella of the year often takes place earlier in the spring, but the delay of the annual Hoscars earlier in the semester due to rising cases of COVID-19 pushed back the set date of Quadchella as well. Administration then suggested centering the postponed spring Quadchella around Earth Day, according to Jacob.

“This [Quadchella] was special largely due to the efforts of the Green Team and the [Student Council] Sustainability Committee,” Jacob said. “They did a great job of tying in Quadchella to Earth Week, sustainability and their mission essentially.”

Upper school chemistry teacher Andrew Irvine, who volunteered to host the event, provided the audience with “Earth facts” and tips on how to help the environment between acts. Irvine also drew the winners of the Green Team raffle, pulling from names of students who wrote ideas for water conservation on boards outside of Manzanita Hall earlier during the week. The winners of the raffle included freshmen Brendon Hayes, Alex Huang, Ariana Gauba, Sid Sanghari, Yasmin Sudarsanam, Yifan Li and Khanhlinh Tran; sophomore Katherine Fields; juniors Tyler Beede, Will Lee and Aaron Tiritoglu and seniors Anya Warrier, Austin Wang, Maddux Carlisle, Bobby Wang and Alex Hu, along with upper school speech teacher Scott Odekirk.

Upper school English teacher Beth Wahl opened the show with a vocal performance of “Black Coffee” by Peggy Lee, followed by Ritu Belani (10), who entertained the audience with a stand-up comedy act. Reagan Ka (12) then sang “Stationary”, a song she wrote and mixed under the artist name Solar Panels at Night, with Clarice Wang (12) playing guitar.

“When [Student Council] said that [Quadchella] was going to be about climate change [and sustainability], I thought, ‘We’re trying to encourage people to consume less dairy, like, say, through black coffee. That’ll be fun.’ I thought that would be kind of funny,” Wahl said.

Dressed in a shimmery costume, Nupur Gupta (11) next performed a self-choreographed dance routine to “Dangerous Woman” by Ariana Grande. Nupur, who performed at both Quadchellas in the fall, deviated from her usual hip-hop style and opted for a “jazz-based” song. She appreciates the opportunity Quadchella provides to showcase her exploration and passion for dance.

“Quadchella has given me an opportunity to express my talents and my hobbies because I really enjoy dancing, and it’s a very casual setting — different from a dance production, which is a lot more formal,” Nupur said. “In [Quadchella], I have a lot more freedom as well.”

After Nupur’s performance, upper school psychology teacher Julie Turchin strummed her guitar while singing “Follow that Road” by Ann Hills. Then, seniors Caden Lin and Kailash Ranganathan brought back their yoga-ball choreography and danced to “Let It Go” by Idina Menzel from the movie “Frozen.” Subsequently, upper school Performing Arts Production Manager Brian Larsen sang “The Bank Job” by Barenaked Ladies, and Justin Fung (12) followed with his own vocal performance of “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran. Lastly, Shahzeb Lakhani (12) delivered the second stand-up comedy act of the show.

“I thought [Caden and Kailash’s performance] was really funny and unique,” Ellie said. “I’ve never seen people do that before.”

Associated Student Body (ASB) President Dawson Chen (12) and ASB Treasurer Aaditya Gulati (12) then closed the show with their rendition of “Breaking Free” by Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron from “High School Musical,” slightly moderating the lyrics and choreography to “reimagine it in [their] own high school experience,” according to Aaditya.

“Before I got on stage, I was definitely hesitant, and I had a lot of butterflies, but after getting on stage with Dawson and looking at the audience, it felt just like another school meeting or another speech, and all of my fear went away,” Aaditya said. “After my performance, I wish my performance was longer because I really enjoyed every single moment on that stage.”

Irvine ended the event reminding students and faculty of the Silicon Valley Youth Climate Strike 2022, which 10 upper school students attended later that afternoon. Previously, Green Team members organized the trip and created posters to carry at the march. Although Green Team introduced new initiatives to promote sustainability throughout the week, Quadchella informed community members of climate and environmental issues in a familiar format.

“[Quadchella] is not spontaneous, but the energy that’s there, because it’s outside, [makes it special],” Wahl said. “People can come and go and cheer for their friends. It has a certain informality to it that’s nice. People can perform, but they don’t take it quite as seriously. It always feels celebratory, and it’s just a lot of fun.”