Music was in the air as the ISKL Singers and Jazz Night Combo gave a fantastic performance at the ISKL annual Jazz Night. The enthralling event was live-streamed, and despite not being in The Robert B. Gaw Theatre, the audience was tapping their toes and humming along with the music…from home. Starting with a beautiful rendition of Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E” and performing hits such as “Fly Me To The Moon” and “Feeling Good,” our Panthers showcased an immense range of talent!
We caught up with one of the organizers, Imogen S. (Grade 11), who, together with Aryssa G. (Grade 11), worked hard on the preparations for the anticipated event. Noting that the past two years have changed the yearly tradition, Imogen said, “Obviously, Covid has impacted how it usually has been in the past, where we would have had a large live audience to celebrate such an incredible event.”
20 students forming the ISKL Singers and the ISKL Jazz Combo band came together as one for this event, under the tutelage of our dedicated performing arts faculty Jaymin and Jonathan Baird. Imogen continues, “Additionally, we have Mr. Ashton, Mr. Afif, and the PAC team who helped with the setup, sound, organization, and everything theater-related. We can’t do any of it without them!”
While students were practicing for the show, our organizers were also hard at work behind the scenes to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. Imogen said, “Ms. Baird, Aryssa, and I had meetings to discuss details and backup plans, as we weren’t sure about the rules we had to follow and what we were allowed to do. Eventually, after finding a venue, we were told we weren’t allowed to do it outside of school, so we had to do a lot of reshaping and trying to figure out what to do. Overall, we’re really lucky to be doing the event at all!”
ISKL’s nurturing culture creates an environment where students can take calculated risks, learn from success and failure, and discover their passion and what brings them joy. ISKL’s Head of the Department for the Performing Arts, Jaymin believes in taking risks and adapting to changes, even if there is a possibility of failure, as “It connects with being a lifelong learner and recognizing that you will never be done developing.”
These qualities are evident in our organizers and the entire team as they stayed resilient under the ever-changing circumstances that could have prevented the event from happening. Jaymin said, “Imogen and Aryssa were adaptable, positive, and resilient as they planned for an event that was supposed to be at a hotel, then modified it to a live stream event at school, and modified again when some of the performers couldn’t come.”
“Covid has certainly altered what we could do in the performing arts and how we do it. But for every performance we get to do, even with a slew of SOPs, it’s worth it. Mr. Baird and I feel privileged to work with students of this caliber who continue to work to their full potential, even during challenging times. The leadership, passion, and dedication have been truly inspiring.”
Jazz Night is a testament to how ISKL’s co-curricular activities provide opportunities for students to pursue their passions and learn real-life lessons such as having tremendous courage, confidence, and being risk-takers. The event’s format might be different, but the passion, dedication, and high level of musicianship remain the same. Their perseverance and incredible talent shone through their performance, and we can’t wait for their next performance.