Students, staff, and parents gathered in the cafeteria at 6:30pm on 2 May 2019 to watch as MGCI students showcased their talent in music, dance, and visual arts. A biannual event organized by the Music Council and the Arts Council, students from art courses as well as extracurricular groups such as Wind Band, led by Mr. Rakonjac, and Choir Club, led by Ms. Libunao, are able to showcase what they have been doing in the second semester.
The event was promoted throughout the school with announcements, posters, and banners, along with students encouraging friends and family to attend. Tickets were sold at the door—one for three dollars and two for five, same as previous events. This led to a large turnout of 200 attendees, but not as much as the 500 that showed up for December’s concert. This was likely due to the event not happening when it is typically organized, which is around the middle or end of May.
Arts Night has been a long part of MGCI’s history, and the event has changed over time to what it is today. The event used to be Music Night until 2013, when various types of art, not only music, were incorporated into the evening. The evening now showcases music, dance, visual, and digital arts.
The night included performances from the Grade 9/10 Band Class which played “The Avengers” by Longfield, the Grade 10/11 Guitar Class which played “Heart of Gold” by Neil Young and “Hotel California” by The Eagles, the Wind Band Club played Bohemian Rhapsody, and the ESL Vocal Class sang a medley of pop hits. Much favoured from the previous Arts Night in December, the joint choir with MGCI and Grenoble Elementary School was brought back to the school. They sang “I Believe I Can Fly” and “We Are The World”, which touched many members of the audience.
Intermission gave an opportunity for attendees to go to the galleria to see all the visual and digital art done by students. This included graffiti designs, self-portraits, and photos. Attendees were pleased with what was showcased, with Arham Abbasi, a Grade 10 student saying, “The evening had amazing talent with many surprises as well.”
At 8:20 pm, the evening came to a close with the teacher band performing the pop song “Scars to Your Beautiful”. Featuring an electric guitar solo by Mr. Brossard, their performance was a memorable finale for the evening. Soon after, attendees celebrated the hard work that was put into making the show a success.
While attendees are able to enjoy the talent that MGCI students showcase, Arts Night is also a significant opportunity for arts students. Ms. Wilson, a visual arts teacher said, “It’s a chance for students to not only show off their talent, but enhance their creative skills, and adds to the amazing things that these students consistently create.” Jeremy Phy, a Grade 12 student who took a guitar class said, “It was an amazing opportunity to be able to show what I had been learning this semester. I was extremely proud to come together with my guitar class and be able to perform for people.”
There were certain differences and challenges for this Arts Night in particular. Music teacher Mr. Rakonjac said, “Normally, Arts Night is held in the middle or near the end of May and students had much less time to prepare for the event. But tonight was really well given the time constraint.” He also mentioned that he was proud of the beginners and students that switched instruments in such a short amount of time.
Music has had a long history at MGCI, even having a strings program at one point. However, the MGCI music teachers expressed their desire to uplift the music culture at the school. Ms. Libunao said, “Music is not only important for the culture but for the personal development of each unique individual. We’d love to have more students joining and getting involved with music, whether taking music courses, or joining extracurricular clubs. There are so many talented individuals that we don’t get to see shine at our shows.” The music department is working towards developing a greater music culture at MGCI, and are looking for students to get involved. Mr. Rakonjac added, “You give what you get. If more students show up, we will have more of a joint culture…we sound better in numbers.”
Nonetheless, Arts Night was a success for everyone, students, staff, and the community. It shined a spotlight on the many hidden talents of the school. The Reckoner would like to congratulate all the students, and thank the staff and Stage Crew for all their help. As Ms. Wilson said, “It’s my favourite night of the semester. I’m so proud of all the students who worked tirelessly to make this event possible, and it’s so amazing to see it all come together.” And for that reason, students await the next Arts Night, happening in December 2019.