Wick Choral Festival 2018

by Luke Lee '21

On Friday, January 26th, the school received the biggest number of visitors it has had for a school musical event this year. The parking spaces were filled with cars and school buses. The campus was packed with students from other high schools and even a few universities. They were all dressed sharply, wearing coat and tie or dresses. Everyone seemed excited and confident. Over two days, January 26th and 27th, St. Mark’s held the annual Wick Choral Festival at the Class of 1945 Hall of Putnam Family Arts Center.

The Wick Choral Festival was established to remember St. Mark's  alumnus Myron A. Wick and to honor his lifelong passion for singing. Performances were held on Friday evening and Saturday evening. A total of of 8 high schools sent their A Capella groups: Algonquin Regional High School, Middlesex School, Noble and Greenough School, Northfield Mount Hermon School, Pomfret School, Roxbury Latin School, the Wheeler School, and Groton School. A Capella groups from two colleges, Northeastern University and University of Richmond, also offered marvelous performances to the audience.

Alumni, parents from other schools, the acapella groups, and students were waiting in the audience. The Royal Blues were the first to perform. As Mo Liu, the head of Royal Blues, returned to her group after hitting the note on the piano to find the right pitch, the audience was watching them with great anticipation. At first, the girls seemed slightly nervous. The Royal Blues started out with Sigrid’s “Don’t Kill My Vibe.” Sure enough, their first song was a success. There was uproarious applause and also a few shoutouts after which their stiff faces seemed to soften a bit. Then they continued, singing Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," Clean Bandit's "Symphony," and VV Brown's "Shark in the Water". In between the songs,  Paula Hornbostel '20, Frances Hornbostel '21, Maeve Ahern '20, Kaela Dunne '18, Katherine Ewald '19, and Caitlin Lochhead '19 all had some incredible solos.

After the Royal Blues exited, the Marksmen stepped onto the stage. Watching the Royals Blues, the expectations from the audience were high. They kicked off their set with Ben E. King's "Stand by Me” and Sean Kingston's "Beautiful Girls," with Reily Scott '21 and Conrad Krapf '21 as soloists. Because those two songs were well-known, many students and faculties smiled when they heard the two songs. Some shifted their bodies to the rhythm of the songs. Then, they sang Bastille's “Pompeii”; with Steven Burke ‘18 as the soloist. The audience was stunned by his high voice. The highlight of their performance was their last song, “Classic” by MKTO. Jon Shakespeare ‘19 rocked the stage, going up to a girl and singing to her. Tommy Flathers ‘21 ended the song with his rap. It was awesome how he used his crutches to dance to the rhythm. It was wonderful to see the other groups too. Their performances were superb. The acapella groups from Northeastern University and the University of Richmond were at another level. It was great to see Blake Normandin ‘15 back in the Wick Festival.