By Alaysha Germaine
The evening of June, 4, marked the beginning of an event titled the “Symphony of Infamy.” Embodied in the name lies the hard work and discipline of the students that comprise Whatcom’s music club.
Closed blue curtains left the details of what was to come hidden behind them, and five microphones stood evenly spaced across the edge of the stage.
“The Symphony of Infamy has been a work in progress for nine months,” said club president Logan Browning. “Back then we were all strangers who could barely jam, now we’ve done this. It’s been magical.”
Before the curtains opened, the shadow of an acoustic guitar could be seen in the light beneath their edges. Feet in high heels, old school Converse shoes, and a pair with no shoes at all raced back and forth, and with a pair of dress shoes, the guitar shadow disappeared.
John Park slipped through the crease with his ukulele. With no introduction, he began to play his own song, “Summer’s Blues.”
Club members ranged from bluesy singers to rockin’ piano players and from a graceful flute player to drums, a saxophone and a cello. After each soulful performance a crowd made up of equally varied individuals whistled and clapped avidly, providing the club with even more confidence to continue the show.
Many of the words of the night’s musicians were outlined in the program, where Park wrote that his song was, “inspired from the pure whim of mastering the ukulele.” His explanation of the song itself embodied the positive and negative aspects of summer. Park ended with two adjectives of the season that relayed back to his song, “mystifying and relaxing.”
Browning entered front stage as the curtains slowly opened, using Park’s music as introductory background tunes to the beginning of the show.
“This is WCC’s music club,” he said. “We are very happy to be here, and we hope you all enjoy the show!”
The flair of the art club’s involvement became apparent as the curtains tucked to the sides of the stage. A mural of greens, reds, purples and yellows depicted the shapes of guitars in different positions. Draped behind the drums set, center stage, it became the centerpiece of the evening.
“I thought the show was fabulous,” said Carol Reed-Jones, an unofficial advisor for the music club, and Whatcom’s choir instructor. “You can always see people practicing music out by the fountain; this is the result of that. These students get a chance to learn from each other, they need this.”
Mid-show, the entire club grabbed an instrument and played “Northern Contemplation,” written by club member Daniel Viney. As the song progressed with soft beats and slow melodies, Whatcom’s modern dance club women emerged from both sides of the stage.
In black spandex, tights, tank tops and head bands they move carefully around each other in the space provided. Slow but energetic movements marked their style and only every once in a while did they move in sync.
Bass player and vocalist Kris Weyrauch was an energetic source throughout the evening. He acted at some points as the comedian when he played the piano in one song and as the lead singer took a bow and left stage, he presented a large goofy grin while exclaiming “Thank you!” to the crowd as if he had been the star of the show. Giggles emerged nearly every time he spoke, followed by applause.
“This club really gives the members a chance to shine and find a place where we belong,” said Weyrauch. “It nurtures a confidence that enriches every facet of our lives.”
Though many silly moments in the performances kept the audience entertained, an underlying purpose of the club performance was to collect donations for “The Amadeus Project,” which provides scholarships to eligible students with an interest in furthering a musical education.
“Every year budget cuts try and take more and more music out of the schools,” said Browning. “Don’t let the music die. We have to keep it alive in our own hearts to pass it on the children to come.”
Before the last song of the evening, Weyrauch announced, “This next one’s about dancing…” With a final look at the program by many members of the audience, an abundance of excitement emerged. Every singer and member with an instrument began to perform Tom Petty’s classic, “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”
Smiles on every face both on stage and off encouraged bouncing, swaying, hair swinging and moving feet among the performers. This atmosphere represented the invigorating stage presence of this talented group of students.
“I thought Friday went really well,” said Browning. “Nothing is perfect, but we tried really hard and had fun. That is success to me.”
The smiling father of the club president sat in the front row.
“It was awesome,” said Thomas Browning. “It was great musicianship, and very well organized. It shows the soul of this place. Don’t give up the music.”
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