The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Dr. Seuss-themed Harker Day shows bring together community across campuses

Tiffany Zhu
The middle school combined choir performs during the Harker Day production on Oct. 7 at 1:30 p.m. The sang “All Over the World” from the 1980 film “Xanadu.”

The spotlight emerges, casting a glow on a vibrant menagerie of colored words in Dr. Seuss’s whimsical style. Two lower school actors step under the light, one dressed as the protagonist from Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” and the other in a Harker school uniform. 

Around 290 students and faculty from all four Harker campuses performed in two shows at Harker Day in the Rothschild Performing Arts Center (RPAC) on Oct. 7. The productions embraced the theme of “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” while also weaving in elements from Harker’s Global Education program. 

The show consisted of 11 acts, featuring a diverse cast of actors, choruses and dance groups from the Transitional Kindergarten (TK), lower, middle and upper school campuses. The performances at 12 p.m and 1:30 p.m. showcased global traditions and international exploration.

A combined middle school choir directed by vocal music teacher Kristin Pfeifer commenced the show with “All Over the World” from the 1980 film “Xanadu.” The opening act introduced the theme of expanding one’s horizons through travel. The upper school’s Harker Dance Company (HDC) displayed aspects of Brazilian culture in their performance to the song “Tick Tick Boom” by Sage the Gemini. 

“I watched the show today to watch my sister in HDC, and I actually really loved the theme of their dance and the production in general,” audience member Lily Shi (10) said. “It was interesting how they traveled through the world and kept with the theme for different vocal or dance groups.” 

TK students, the upper school’s Kinetic Krew, Bucknall Choir and the middle school’s Showstoppers then delivered performances inspired by Ecuador, Australia, Costa Rica and Japan, respectively. The upper school’s Festival Chorus embraced the theme by not only singing “Shosholoza,” a South African song, but also playing traditional African instruments such as the djembe. 

“Singing the South African song was really great,” Festival Chorus member Ishan Mysore (10) said. “We were also dancing, so I felt like I was especially connected to the song and the people I was singing with, so it was definitely a memorable experience.”

High Voltage incorporated Spanish cuisine in their dance to “Calma,” and Downbeat followed with “You Can’t Stop the Beat” from the musical “Hairspray,” a nod to Scotland and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Closing out the acts, Dance Fusion showcased their skills to “Funky Town” by Pseudo Echo. 

Downbeat member Ian Ogden (12) enjoyed seeing younger students perform.

“Something I really liked about [the Harker Day shows] is just seeing the younger kids,” Ian said. “We get to interact with the middle schoolers and lower schoolers, and we also get to see them grow and start from some of the younger groups and then grow their way into the bigger ensembles.”

The Harker Day performance is one of few all-campus shows. Many acts had less than two months to prepare for their performances. 

“I joined the choir because I liked singing, and I really liked performing,” Bucknall Choir member Camille Begeman (5) said. “It definitely feels nice on stage. Even though sometimes you’re standing and getting tired, it’s always really fun, especially today.”

The cast convened on Oct. 6 for a full run-through and met again on Saturday before the performances. Upper school dance teacher Jill Yager recalled the connections that younger and older students formed during practices and shows.

“When [HDC members] were sitting in the hallway, the little birds from TK talked to us,” Yager said. “The dancers were wonderful—they went up, said hello, got down at [the TK students’] level and talked to them about performing. The dancers thought the younger students were really cute, and their interactions were just so sweet. The performance was fun because it’s such a supportive environment.”

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About the Contributors
Jonathan Szeto, Reporter
Jonathan Szeto (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is his second year on staff. This year, Jonathan hopes to improve his photography skills and interview more people around campus. In his free time, he enjoys playing piano and learning more about aerospace.
Tiffany Zhu, Reporter
Tiffany Zhu (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Tiffany hopes to meet more members of the Harker and journalism community and share topics she's passionate about with them. In her free time, she enjoys baking and watching all genres of movies.

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