Throwback Thursdays

#TBT: All About 2010.

It’s really crazy to think that 2010 was 7 years ago. People who were born in 2010 are turning 7 this year. People born this year are in the 1st grade. In 2010, I was a sophomore in high-school experiencing tons of new things and was introduced to what it was really like to be a teenager. No seriously. Before 2010, I was this innocent child that didn’t do teenage things yet. This was a different type of year. 

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This is 16-year old Liz. A little, naive, curious teenage girl who wanted to explore every aspect of life. Regarding school, this was my first year being a part of the vocal program’s highest-ranking choir, Performing Choir. I was one of 6 sophomores to be put into the choir during this year, and the adventures I had this year with my choir members were amazing. We traveled to many places, such as various churches all throughout the borough, we went to NYSSMA and received the first ever “Gold with Distinction” award BHSA got within all of the performing arts program, and we performed at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month. 

Just notice how awkward I looked standing in the front row. This day and performance was memorable because this was the first time that I noticed just how powerful we were as a choir. 25 of us sounded like 60 people singing, and a lot of these people had soul and passion in their voice. I am still honored that I was a part of such an amazing bunch. Performing Choir ’10 wasn’t just the beginning of a tedious vocal adventure and exploration I went on, but it was solely the reason how I met my best friend, Obie.

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Fetus, Afro Obie. (He’s going to kill me for it. Lol)

I met Obie unofficially during my freshman year when I was in the same math class as him. Of course, I wasn’t really paying attention to my surroundings, so I vaguely remember him talking to me and making me laugh a lot. I was intimidated by him; he was a junior when I was a freshman and at first I wasn’t interested in making friends with the upperclassmen. Once I started my sophomore year, Obie was in my Physics class. I was in Physics as a sophomore because I was actually really good in science, so I was put in classes that most seniors took, and Obie was a senior when I was a sophomore. I still remember the first day of Physics, we were talking about what “e=mc²” stood for, and I remember answering most of the questions, and Obie said in the back of the class “Okay, Liz!” It made me smile, I can’t front. Later that day, I found out that he was also in Performing Choir, and that’s how we began to know each other. On October 9th, 2009, I gave him my AIM screen-name, and the rest is history.

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When he gets into this pose, it means he wants his picture taken.

Obie, now 24 with a head full of dreads and a nice scruff on his face, and he’s still my best friend. He’s actually more than just that, but he’s… how do I say this without sounding like a complete cheese-ball… honestly he’s my everything. Obie and I’s friendship isn’t your typical friendship and it didn’t stay platonic for long. As mentioned in my post The “I love you” Story, our friendship developed into something more serious and connective. He’s been there through the ups and downs, the very good and very bad, and nothing has changed since. I think back at all the times we traveled together to Performing Choir performances and back, I remember sitting next to Obie, who was yelling out of the B44 bus window after NYSSMA saying, “I got gold with distinction, I don’t need this!” I remember all the trouble we got into during that summer, and all the adventures we had during it too. We’ve had a really great first year of friendship in 2010, and I wouldn’t change anything about it.

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Summer 2010: Poolside in Staten Island, NY

Towards the end of 2010, I had to start my school year without my best friend being there. I managed to actually spend some time with old friends, such as my Pershing (JHS) friends during a reunion we had.

Lmfaoooo, Bianca’s face though.

As well as hang out with some new friends from my high-school (I was even invited to my very first Sweet Sixteen party!)

Nina, Angelica, and I during gym.
Racquel’s Sweet Sixteen.

All in all, 2010 was a great year because I honestly thought that I grew up as a person. I had many firsts this year, and I experienced a lot of new things that I never experienced before, and I believe this was just the start of the person that I am now, aka the girl who isn’t all uptight and close-minded about things that are “bad” and “life-altering” like sex and smoking weed. 

Man, I’m glad I’m not that girl anymore. Thank you, 2010!

-Liz (:

Throwback Thursdays

#TBT: Favorite Memory of 2011.

So, I was a junior in high-school during 2011. Although 2011 was a year of regrets and mistakes that I made as a stupid 17 year old girl, I would describe 2011 being the year that my life was mainly Performing Choir.

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I was put into Performing Choir for a second year. With the major success the previous year of PC was, it became a choir that a lot of people wanted to be a part of. The previous year of Performing Choir consist of  mostly seniors, and once they graduated, the question of who was going to be the next Performing Choir roamed through every single vocal major’s mind. I was grateful to be a part of such an amazing choir for another year, and I was really grateful to be more involved in the choir, whether it was helping my fellow Second-Sopranos with music, or getting minor solos in the bigger choral pieces.

If you will like to hear what Performing Choir was like in 2011, here are a few links to videos that depict just the many places that we performed and all the songs we did during this time period. (Remember, this was 2011, and video quality was still shitty…)

Despite these little clips that do absolutely no justice to the real thing, we also performed at places such as Carnegie Hall, The Capital at Albany for Music in Our Schools Month, received Gold for the NYSSMA competition after singing two Level 6 songs (the highest difficulty), and at the Bronx Zoo as the musical guests for a competition.

My personal favorite throughout the entirety of 2011: the Brooklyn Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble Competition in Bishop Loughlin High School located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

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The Winning Piece: “Lift Every Voice & Sing”

Weeks prior to this day in March, we prepared for this competition. Our vocal teacher, Mr. Williams, tried rearranging various choir members in little groups of 8, singing various songs that we knew. I remember being pulled in and out of various groups and feeling slightly discouraged that I wasn’t good enough to compete. Finally, I was put into the group that was going to sing PC’s infamous song to sing, “Lift Every Voice & Sing”. To this day, I still know all of the parts of each voice present. I was selected to sing the second-soprano section of the song, and we were one of the first to actually perform. I thought we did pretty well, but I never thought that I would be sitting in the audience, thinking the ensemble I was a part of, would win first place.

I can’t tell if we were really into the group that was performing, or the fact that we were waiting for the results.

When they announced that my ensemble had won the competition, I literally cried tears. I never felt like I was good enough in these group of people because they were all so much more talented than me, and to be a part of the winning ensemble, I really felt so good.

We literally walked from the high-school back to Downtown Brooklyn dancing and singing these different songs, and of course – the winning song. 

Our last show as PC ’11 at Riverside Church on June 19th, 2011.

Like I mentioned in my 2012 #TBT post, Performing Choir was really the only good thing I would relive high school for (besides meeting Obie in 2009). I traveled to so many different parts of NYC and rehearsed so many hours these different shows that I don’t think that I ever missed one. You would think that performing at Carnegie Hall would’ve been my favorite memory, and it’s one of them. Carnegie Hall was such an amazing experience because I know that it was going to be a once in a lifetime experience, and I got the pleasure to do it for two years in a row. To rehearse in the city, on the Carnegie Hall stage… seriously so breathtaking. 

Sometimes, I feel like I took advantage of my time in PC, but I think everyone did. We all look back now and see the hard work and dedication being a part of this and what our vocal teacher put into this group and the rest of the vocal program.

A former choir member, Jade Ashley, dedicated her senior project, “In Music I Trust” towards documenting the journey that the vocal program went through in Mr. William’s guidance. I was very lucky to be a part of the interview process with my best friend where Performing Choir was the place we both officially met! Such a beautiful depiction of what our vocal teacher created in his four years in Brooklyn High School of the Arts, and I believe 2011 was the peak of its success.

Our legacy still lives on in room B25. It will forever be.

-Liz (: