Who am I? All throughout high school, this question rattles in the back of students’ heads as they walk down the hallway. I am a Warrior,…..and a teenager, a friend, an immigrant, a musician, an artist. Although we attend the same school we are all different and the identity we hold closest to our hearts might not be that of a Warrior.
Students in the Fine Arts Department have been pondering this question over the school year to prepare for the Dimensions Concert and Art Show taking place on Nov. 16 in the auditorium and LRC. By showcasing all band, orchestra, and choir ensembles, this is the Fine Arts Department’s main event of the year. Two shows are scheduled for Nov. 16: the first performance at 5:30-7 p.m. and the second at 8-9:30 p.m. Between performances, there is a break where the audience can view artwork in the LRC created by students. The art can help the audience get a visual storyline to better connect with the songs.
This year’s theme is ‘Identity’. “Our world is forcing kids to become more mature sooner,” band director Bernie Gerstmayr said. With this pressure of having to figure out what you want to be coming sooner and sooner, the department wanted to have students consider what’s most important to them now.
The theme allows students to be a more important part of the show and reveal not only their musician side, but what else makes them who they are. The performance will include student’s personalized messages, photos, video effects, and spoken words. Students have been working on projects and activities during class to reflect on what they like and what description connects with them the most. “The identity poems we have done in class are very true to ourselves and individual to everybody. You really get to see a new side of people,” sophomore flutist Gabrielle Konsulova said.After many writing tasks, every student had to choose one word that connected to their identity the strongest. “I chose Hispanic as my word because growing up, I was really immersed in my Mexican culture, focusing on it more since both of my parents only speak Spanish. Being Hispanic is really important to me and being able to show that to everyone else is really important,” senior violinist Jasmin Soriano said. Soriano will be able to share her identity with others by performing a song from a Hispanic composer.
Musicians must put hours into perfecting their music, but they see the hard work paying off and love to hear it all come together. The challenge is what makes it fun for the performers and allows them to grow as musicians. “The song ‘To find a voice’ is about first getting your instrument and being inexperienced. The progression of the song symbolizes practicing and working up to more challenging music. The tempo is very fast-paced and it’s hard to keep up but it’s also my favorite song because the instruments sound so well together,” Konsulova said.
“You’ll get to hear band, choir, orchestra, back and forth, in different sizes, shapes, and sounds that bounce around the auditorium for eighty minutes of straight music,” Gerstmayr said. The audience can expect to enjoy a variety of medleys that range from the complicated themes of growing up to the simple pleasures of everyday life. The goal is to create a connection between the music and the audience’s own experiences. “The piece ‘Fragile’ is about someone struggling with depression, I however am not depressed, but I have to convey those emotions, and I feel like that’s kind of difficult. But at the same time you have got to portray that in your music,” senior soprano and contrabassist Alona George said.
The Dimensions Concert and Art Show will provide an opportunity to view all of the unique identities that make up Maine West. “It really represents the whole student body and everyone that goes to Maine West. It will be really nice to see what songs, music, art pieces, and photos you see yourself in,” Konsulova said.