Sophmore CJ Cannon, junior Laney Toffler and sophmore Will Blanchette play a song by Led Zeppelin. (Kathryn Castanoli)
Sophmore CJ Cannon, junior Laney Toffler and sophmore Will Blanchette play a song by Led Zeppelin.

Kathryn Castanoli

York Live performances kicks of Fine Arts Week

March 1, 2022

If you missed York Lives performance, check it out right here! –> York Live A

Fine Arts Week (FAW) is back and better than ever. For those who may be unfamiliar with FAW, students are able to showcase their talents and abilities of all kinds in a talent showcase. Whether it be playing an instrument, singing an original song or performing a comedy skit, FAW is filled with raw talent and skill from students of all grade levels.

During the 2020-21 school year, FAW still operated, however, without a live audience. The showcase was live streamed for students and families at home. Music teacher and director of FAW, Chris Gemkow, is excited to bring back one of the most vibrant weeks of the school year.

“It’s especially nice because my last really great memory before the pandemic shut us down was Fine Arts week,” Gemkow said. “So it’s nice to have this back to start building new memories, a new era, and to move life forward.”

Sophomore Owen Widuch performed with his band, “The Pool” during the first showcase of the York Live performances. Widuch expressed his emotions as he played on his stage. 

“It feels great to perform,” Widuch said. “You can’t even see the audience but knowing that there are so many people out there getting to hear us play after we practiced for so long it feels great.”

Following the performance of “The Pool”, sophomores Kate Grupa and Kaeden Gille performed an original song “Timelapse” that was created during last summer’s music production class. The song was written on a whim for a project and resulted in something encapsulating a message in life.

Sophmores Kaeden Gille and Kate Krupa play an original song, “Timelapse” with Gille on piano and Krupa on drums. (Kathryn Castanoli)

“We made this song over the summer in a music production course and we have only really played the song 5 or 6 times,” Gille said. “There was a project, we forgot it, and it only took us an hour to figure out chord progression. The song is kinda about how life is, the fast and slow parts of life.”

After “Timelapse”, the audience experienced a piece composed by senior Andrew Brooks on the piano. Brooks taught himself how to compose his piece and shared his tribulations with the process. 

“Well I taught myself how to compose stuff with trial and error, and this piece kinda just came together from that,” Brooks said. “I have never done fine arts week before, and I never actually performed in front of people like this on the piano so it feels awesome.”

Students in FAW also find inspiration to share their talents from their families. Senior, Jack Pals, played the accordion, an instrument familiar with his family and their traditions. Pals felt confident in presenting his composition after seeing the audience in awe of his talents. 

Senior Jack Pals plays the accordion on the first day of Fine Arts Week. (Kathryn Castanoli)

“I chose accordion,” Pals said. “My family is Polish and German so I went to all the Octoberfests and then kinda decided that it looked unique and cool. Let’s roll with it. I was a little bit nervous, but I tend to do good under pressure, but when you go out on a stage and see that everyone is there to watch you, it definitely makes all the nerves go away.”

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