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Arts Night 2024 Showcases the Very Best Heschel Has to Offer

At 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 1, students, parents, and faculty alike poured into the building, awaiting the products of this semester’s arts department. Pieces from Nurit Newman and Lisa Cohen’s art, photography, and ceramics classes were displayed in the halls, as well as projected onto stage before the show. The night opened with an address from Rabbi Noam. Next, emcees Eden Bar-Chama, Charlotte Levine, Zack Levy, and Ari Weinstein briefly introduced themselves, and then the show began. 

Heschel’s band electives were among the first performers of the evening, with all four grades making strong efforts. First up was the ninth grade band with renditions of Rihanna’s Stay, soloed by Tabitha Cohen, and Coldplay’s Yellow, soloed by Tamir Vidal. The band left the crowd excited for what else Adena Korn and Ned Ginsburg had been working on. 

Up next was the 10th grade band. Agam Back, Rose Harnoy, Juliette Heisler, Danni Jankelson, and Molly Stevens worked together as vocalists to perform Katan Aleinu, a relevant piece created during the COVID-19 pandemic about overcoming adversity. However, what may have been the defining performance of the evening preceded them. In a last-minute decision, sophomore Bobby Covit stepped up to the microphone and treated audiences to Let Her Go by Passenger. Covit explained that, prior to Arts Night, the band had decided to run through some pieces that wouldn’t be performed. 

Covit recalled what led to his change of heart, saying “since I knew we weren’t performing it the next day… I was like, oh, I’m gonna go all out. I’m just gonna try my hardest to sing it well. And everyone loved it.” 

Throughout the night, attendees were treated to poetry and prose. Senior Jayden Podchlebnik recited Bimdorot Milchama (In the Bonfires of War), a poem written by Chana Senesh about a search for humanity in the midst of war. Sophomore Yalei Ravin and senior Serena Goldstein recited existential and original poems, respectively inspired by the works of Lawrence Ferenghetti and Orhan Pamuk. Additionally, freshman Gershon Leib and Sophomore Dani Grinker competed against one another in Heschel’s Shakespeare monologue contest; the winner was not announced publicly. 

The 11th grade band featured vocals from Abby Bruhim, Amia Kaplun, and Shaine Katarivas on Elton John’s Crocodile Rock and Bridget Hendler’s Hurricane., 

After their performance, emcee Weinstein voiced a concern regarding the quality of the senior band, but his suspicions were quickly proven wrong as Sylvia Zeltzer and Jayden Podchlebnik performed a rendition of Adele’s All I Ask, and, Ethan Hess, Tal Visser, Laila Posner and Zeltzer sang Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men. The band concluded with Hunter Bernhardt, Visser and Posner singing Good Old Days by Macklemore. 

The latter half of the evening focused on student-crafted performances, including Korn’s 12th grade music theory class. Harry Klarfeld directed audiences through a carefully planned lesson on music esoterica, with a heavy focus on Sesame Street

The rock band, a student-led club, placed the passion for the craft held by its members front and center. Zeva Landa and Podchlebnik dueted 30 Seconds to Mars’ The Kill and Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac. While all members of the band put in extreme effort to prepare for the evening, standout performers included Weinstein on the keyboard and Freshman Ezra Tiven-Gottesman on the electric guitar. 

Attendees were also treated to a sneak peek of the spring musical, Cinderella, before the Heschel Harmonizers rounded off the night. Senior Michael Kaplan-Nolan and Freshman Lily Jaktupat-Schneider led Bastille’s Pompeii, while Landa and sophomore Eli Lebwohl wowed the crowd on Lashuv Habaita – Landa and Lebwohl as soloists, while sophomore Charlie Schiff beatboxed. 

Thanks were given to the tech and maintenance teams, the art, music, and theater teachers, and the administrations. The night was an objective success by all metrics; performers, parents, and students left the building with new appreciation for what the community can do at Heschel.

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