Choir performance inspired by Vivaldi

On Feb. 1, choir and band joined together to skillfully perform Antonio Vivaldi’s hymn “Gloria.”

“Every year we perform a ‘Major Work,’” choir teacher Jeff Morton said. “The ‘Gloria’ is over a half of an hour long and has 12 movements, some soft and beautiful, others loud and powerful.”

I found the performance to be wonderful. I’m not classically trained in singing and have little knowledge on the expectations required for “Gloria,” so my opinion isn’t that of an expert. But as an observer, the choir sounded lovely and the orchestra was amazing.

I did not notice any off-key singers or poorly tuned instruments throughout the entire show. The violinists showed particular skill, mastering their parts and consistently being on point.

The composer behind this famous piece is Antonio Vivaldi, an 18th century composer who is well known as one of the most renowned figures in European classical music.

Despite Vivaldi’s interest in music, he sought religious training and was ordained a priest in 1703. However, Vivaldi may have joined priesthood not out of religious devotion, but because of the free schooling and access to music it provided.

“[During the Baroque period] almost all music was somehow financially made possible because of the Catholic church,” Morton said.

According to biography.com, by the age of 25, Vivaldi became master of violin at Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy) in Venice.

According to baroquemusic.com, the Ospedale housed the love children of noblemen and their various mistresses. As a result, it received large donations from “anonymous” fathers.

I don’t recall if the Gloria was sung by the orphanage youth. The orphanage was all girls, so at least some other forces would be needed to sing the male parts,” Morton said.

Like many of Vivaldi’s other pieces, the “Gloria” is a religious text.

The first line ‘Glory to God in the Highest’ set the tone as a praise and thanks giving song,” Morton said. “Other lines include prayer for peace on earth and lifting out our sins and trials to that which is greater than us.”

Students stick together with community artwork (SATIRE)

A new beautification initiative has added color to HHS’ otherwise green and white visage. “Gum” covers the entirety of the HHS campus. The project, which encourages students to decorate their desks with chewing gum, has greatly improved campus moral.

The gentle swirls of the gum on the desks add delightful refinement to the otherwise uninspiring wood. The work done by student has been compared to that of Michelangelo and Jackson Pollock all while they explore the potential of brilliant new medium. The swaths of gum that decorate HHS desks have raised this campus to the level of a shining — albeit gum-filled — beacon.

Gum art glamorizes student desks

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, “Gum” has added new education content to many classrooms.  The art department had begun an in-depth study of the spearmint gum art under the desk of sophomore Pierre DuPont while the math department has begun statistical analysis about how much money the school could save by constructing the new innovation hub entirely out of Hubba Bubba. There has been talk of starting a new class entirely devoted to the chewing and sticking of gum.

Moreover, HHS no longer remained confined to the shackles of the desk.  A new mosaic project has started to turn campus sidewalks into glistening rainbow railroads. Students have started murals inside the bathroom stalls and have begun gum collections on the soles of their shoes. As a substitute for cafeteria lunch, students are simply encouraged to lick their desks. The school is saving thousands!

In fact, the only potential fault in “Gum” is the overall stickiness of the project. This week alone, five freshmen were found stuck under their desk by their hair. One was left at school overnight.

Pad Reputation

A found-art piece on the door of the Lower B building girl’s bathroom, entitled “Women,” boldly addresses the stigma surrounding menstruation.

Just as the the female figure typically depicted on restroom sign is completely obscured by a pad in “Women”, women who menstruate are often overlooked due to their biology. Society tells women to cover their periods up.

Pad stuck to the front door of the Girl’s Bathroom in Lower B Building makes strong statement.

The stark juxtaposition of a sanitary napkin over the word “WOMEN” in the artwork questions American cultures’ pad problem. Menstruation is all too often treated as a “girl thing.” Periods are for women, so women deal with them. Where soap, toilet paper and other lavatory supplies are provided for free in public restrooms. Menstruators are forced to pay for their biology. Viagra is exempt from taxation, but feminine hygiene products are taxed in 42 states.

Admittedly other necessities like band-aids, toilet paper and soap are taxed. However, such products are needed by everyone. Only people who menstruate pay for pads — garnering California alone $20 million dollars annually.

“The cost of pads has risen so much that this piece alone cost has been appraised at $5 million,” artist Frieda Flo said.

However, Flo’s artwork has met with some resistance.

“I just don’t get what the big deal is, women should just man up and bleed everywhere if they don’t want to pay for their periods.” protester Manny Menostrate said.

Members of the Meninist community have even gone so far as to call Flo’s artwork sexist.

“If we didn’t tax tampons, girls would just run around sticking pads all over the place. This artwork proves it!” Meninist representative, Guy Nopad said.

However, despite protests, Flo’s art strikes hard at an oft under-discussed issue. Although, on initial appraisal, her piece, seems as simple as a pad stuck to a high school girl’s bathroom, “Women” is one of the most influential feminist artworks of this century. Fearlessly, it symbolizes women’s struggle to overcome patronizing stereotypes gender types.

“Women” speaks boldly on female biology. The simple found-art piece places the pad — usually a subject of shame and secrecy — in honest view. In doing so, “Women” tears a rift in the way periods our treated, and sparks hope for a brighter future.

On-Campus Art Piece Captures the Teenage Experience (Satire)

S
ituated in the girl’s bathroom of the lower B Building, “I Hate Homestead” is often misinterpreted as a commonplace defacement.

This is not the case. Rather, “Homestead” is a high-brow form of conceptual art that offers a classic take on the trials facing modern secondary school students.

Admittedly, the piece mirrors the appearance of vandalism in many respects. It’s simplistic, illicit writing on a wall. However, by giving the appearance of graffiti, “I Hate Homestead” taps into the very fundamentals of the high school experience.

“Homestead’s” location in a high school bathroom strikes at the core of the teenage existence. In the bathroom, teens escape the confines of society and school. Lavatories serve as a vehicle for adolescent rebellion and autonomy. Makeup, gossip, gender roles, an obsession with exterior appearance, ditching class and restroom graffiti are all central to both the stereotypical teenage experience and the bathroom.

In “Homestead”, the artist’s simplistic scrawl and elementary terminology throw the typecasting of adolescents in modern society into question. While coming of age is a complex, individualistic process, teens are often pigeonholed by themselves, their peers and society. “Homestead’s” use of casual writing parodies this simplistic notion of the American teenager.

The use of graphite as opposed to traditional ink in “Homestead” emphasizes the transitory nature of the high school experience. Adolescence, like a pencil, is inherently temporary. Feelings that seem important during young adulthood, like those vocalized in “Homestead,” are ultimately fleeting.

Around the perimeter of “Homestead’s” central focus, text reading “I Hate Homestead High School,” other artists have added supportive commentary. Such supplements— including text reading “true story bruh”, “lol sucks” and “ikr”— represent young adulthood as a shared struggle.

Adolescence is difficult for everyone. “Homesteadcaptures how people can be drawn together in the turmoil of teenhood. Similarly, the use of abbreviations like “lol” and “ikr” illustrate the vital role young people play in moving society forward. From creating new slang like “true story bruh” to rebelling against existing authority with bathroom graffiti, teenagers shape culture.

Although “Homesteadoffers a strong stance on adolescence, its message lacks originality. Just watch any teen movie; the idea that young adulthood is both superficial and necessary is widely explored. Although “Homesteadreiterates these themes from an original perspective, it fails to represent the teenage experience in a new light.  

While brilliantly executed from a technical sense, Homesteadconveys a tired message. By taking on a visage similar to stereotypical high school graffiti, it provides a slightly satirical outlook on the complicated, transitory and fundamentally individual journey that is adolescence.

“I Hate Homestead” offers a clear, time-honored message from a unique conceptual perspective. However, it lacks the complexity and thematic originality to truly resonate with viewers.

 

Cafe Stop is worth stopping by

Out of the countless times I’ve driven past the local Falafel Stop, I never fail to see the restaurant swamped with a crowd of people happily munching on or attentively waiting for their Mediterranean food.

The popular eatery extended their food options by introducing their newest addition to their branch next door, the Cafe Stop. However, in constructing the coffee shop next to the Falafel Stop, the old and adored Dairy Belle was replaced in the process.

With a minimalistic light chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a sign clearly stating “Love Lives Here,” I immediately felt welcome in the Cafe Stop as soon as I walked through the entrance. The simple decor related aspects of the restaurant only further contributed to the clean and aesthetic environment.

The service of the restaurant was outstanding, with employees maintaining a friendly and outgoing personality and offering to answer any possible questions about products.

The Cafe Stop’s menu includes a variety of unique food items, ranging from pastries and coffee to breakfast and brunch items. However, the pastries and coffee products were limited in comparison to the other full meals offered.

My vanilla latte surprisingly came with a vanilla biscotti-like cookie, which was a delightful addition to my coffee.

The coffee shop provides a welcoming atmosphere that accommodates the products

Haunted house’s potential not met

Screams echoed around and continued to ring through my ears as I took my first steps into the auditorium, the only light visible coming from the stage ahead.

The Drama club held their annual haunted house in the auditorium on Oct. 31 at lunch. There was an entrance fee of $5, and each group was presented with a tour guide to lead them around.

The tour covered most areas of the auditorium from walking through the pitch black aisles of seating, to stepping onto the stage filled with creepy human dolls and then to backstage where a variety of people in costume jumped out.

Although the eerie atmosphere of the haunted house was not completely terrifying, it was decently scary. This was primarily because of the actors and actresses that were met along the way.

Students of the Drama club remained completely in character as they continually interacted with groups roaming through the house.

With fake bloody faces and intense face paint, tied together with ripped and stained clothing, the lifelike costumes and makeup of the characters in the house were additional factors that contributed to the realism.

Although it is apparent that the club put a considerate amount of effort and time into this event, I do not think that it was advertised to its full potential and prices were overly expensive, as there was not very many people lining up to buy tickets and enter.

Overall, the Drama club did an appreciable job at creating their haunted house and it was realistic enough to give me a good spook.

Jazz spring show, a showcase of talent

I originally came to hear the highly-touted Skinny Seventh perform. What I left with amounted to much, much more.

The entire jazz group, including the jazz band, jazz choir and the Skinny Seventh Ensemble, performed on May 26 at the HHS Auditorium for their spring show, and they had excellent performances. I was truly unprepared for the talent and excellence I had the honor of listening to  that Thursday evening.

Playing between a range of smooth, swingy jazz and upbeat, energetic bebop style, the jazz performers put on a spectacle with fantastic melody and solos.

The night opened on a stellar performance by the jazz choir. The crew excellently incorporated all ranges of the vocal spectrum, soprano to baritone. Their acapella-like style emulated the swing and rhythm of jazz, which was fresh because I previously held a stigma that jazz was from musical instruments; I was wrong.

A particular standout singer, senior Miles Crawford, was honored with the Ella Fitzgerald Jazz Award, he said. He truly stood out from the crowd when he began to beatbox, adding a personalized beat to the rest of the choir.

In the second performance of the night, the jazz group commonly known as the Skinny Seventh Ensemble put on a mind-blowing show. The California Music Educators Association unanimous-superior awarded group not only created a jazz-house vibe with their instrumentation in harmony, but also featured every single member in stellar solos, including powerful performances by senior Shangyu Hsu on the saxophone, senior Amit Kohli on the guitar, junior Matei Predescu on the piano and keyboard, senior Ariel Sagie on the drum set, junior Sam Loebach on the bass and sophomore Matteo Muscettola on the bass. Each member had their own moments of glory, and each received hearty applause afterward.

Jazz band similarly impressed, as it was a more full-sounding jazz ensemble that carried on similar grooviness and style that the Skinny Seventh set. The band incorporated solos of its own, generating astounding applause from the audience as well.

The night ended with a jazz choir and band performance. This night struck me at the level of musical talent in our school and how foolish I was to not have recognized it before. All aspects of the jazz night, from the performers to the engaged audience, contributed to a fantastic experience.

The Talent Among Us

Sean Cheng

Freshman Sean Cheng said he first started playing the guitar and singing for his friends and family, but did not embrace his talent until he was part of a band. Cheng said he has been playing the guitar for about a year and singing for three years.

“Playing the guitar helps me create my own interpretation to a song,” Cheng said.

SeanCheng

Ashley Hall

Senior Ashley Hall said she has been singing for as long as she can remember, and it has remained a passion.

“I like performing for people, seeing their reaction,” Hall said, “seeing them feel the story behind the story.”

Her first performance was in a musical production of “Treasure Island,” in which she played a cabin boy, Hall said. Hall’s most recent performance includes being part of this year’s talent show and a finalist on “South Bay Teen Idol.”

“Very mighty voice,” Arévalo said.AshleyHall

 

Aleksander Antic

Senior Aleksander Antic said he taught himself six years ago how to yo-yo so he could join a club at Cupertino Middle School.

“I didn’t join [the club] because I didn’t want to be hazed,” Antic said. Now he said it has become a profession of his, allowing him to participate in the talent show for the past three years. Antic said he taught himself how to yo-yo during his free time.AleksanderAntic

Kali

Juniors Jeanette Bui, Cameron Lee, Hana Vu and Katrina Chang started their friendship and dance career in Korean Krew through Korean pop. “[We had] auditioned for two other shows [but] didn’t make it,” Lee said. The dance group went from not being able to participate in prior shows to winning this year’s talent show.

Kali

Svitlana Kuklenko

Freshman Svitlana Kuklenko said she was shocked when told she was able to be a part of the talent show. She said she began playing piano seven going on eight years ago and performed in her piano school’s recitals.

Judge Rupe said, “[Svitlana] played with such intensity I feel like I should go fight a bear.”SvitalanaKuklenko

Jason Pi

Senior Jason Pi said he began breakdancing in seventh grade, but did hip-hop dancing for the talent show. He said he began performing for his friends and family. Although he was shy for a while he thought he would “do something crazy” before he graduates. “Dancing makes me happy,” Pi said. He said he will continue to do so in the future.

JasonPi

Laura Salvaggio & Valerie Hu

Sophomore Laura Salvaggio and freshman Valerie Hu both said they love musical theater, singing and found many commonalities, including their love for Sudden Foster, when they met a month ago in Erin Ronan’s  math class.

“I’ve been doing musical theater since I was six… but started taking voice lessons a year ago,” Hu said. Salvaggio said she likes to do musical theater in her free time. They began singing together when Salvaggio went over to Hu’s house and tried singing with notes on the piano. They auditioned for the talent show when they heard about it on the morning announcements, Hu said.

Laura&Valerie

Advanced Drama students express themselves

The HHS Theater department produced yet another set of performances. The Advanced Drama students acted out short scenes that were compiled into two nights of diverse acts and monologues.

“Mrs. [Leslie] Lloyd put us in scenes she thought would best fit us as actors,” junior Edith Kwon said. After being assigned a role and scene, the students memorized and rehearsed them with other classmates and their teacher.

“We were given these pieces about two weeks before break,” junior Emily Holden said. “And we’ve just been working on them ever since. Working with Mrs. Lloyd and her husband and each other.”

The first night included four performances while the second had eight, four of which were monologues.

“Doing a monologue specifically is an interesting process because it’s alone, so that was kind of new to me,” senior Lilith Sarkar said.

Sarkar said she has been performing in drama all four years of high school.

“You take the same steps to first memorize, and get into character, and then understand the character’s background and come up with quirks that your character has,” Sarkar said.

The shows were completely free and started at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium. The actors ranged from sophomores to seniors. The scenes themselves varied from simple comedies to science fiction to even a monologue originally written by Lana Del Rey performed by junior Geoffrey Silk.

Even though many of the students had been performing for multiple years, they still faced many challenges and struggled to memorize all their lines in a short time while also give a perfect performance.

“My favorite part was for the first time of my life, to be able to experience not accomplishing something,” Silk said. “In the theater world, usually I’m able to pull everything together. It’s the first time I’ve ever struggled like that, so it’s taught me a lot.”

Junior Jefferson Thompson performed in two scenes, one of which he was assigned to  the weekend before preforming.

“It’s pretty intense,” Thompson said. “It’s the first time a lot of us have been on stage in front of people, which is just a crazy stressful but fun experience.”

The project not only taught students more about acting but also brought many of them together and created tight friendships. Many students agreed that becoming close with their partner was their favorite part of the process.

“I think working with my partner was my favorite part, because we bonded and got to talk about other things as well,” sophomore Maiyan Pearl said. “I’m so happy and so thankful for my partner Kyra. She did an outstanding job and I couldn’t ask for a better partner.”

All the students in Advanced Drama had to complete a regular drama class before taking Advanced Drama and all of them came back for a reason.

“[Advanced Drama] is a lot of fun and I appreciate that everyone is pretty into it,” Sarkar said. “It’s a small class but it’s very much a close community.”

Books of 2015

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Librarian Ms. Bateman holds the most borrowed book of 2015. Photo by Desmond Kamas

Young adult literature has seen some interesting trends in 2015: the blossoming of the “teen cancer romance” genre first sparked by “The Fault in Our Stars” in 2014, the rejuvenation of space-themed science fiction from “The Martian” and the seventh “Star Wars” film as well as a new following of fantasy series with strong female leads, including “Queen of Shadows” and “Winter.”

“Most students read a lot of fantasy,” librarian Amity Bateman said, “and there’s been a trend towards epic fantasy.”

Bateman said she noticed that over the past few years, students have been reading much more for pleasure rather than for information.

“I think book usage has gone very much towards solely pleasure reading,” bateman said. “If we went back ten years we would see a lot more circulation of books that are used for research papers and people are checking out because they have a project on something.” Media has also influenced book borrowing. Bateman said books that inspired films or television were much more popular than they used to be.

“Popular here are books that TV shows and movies have been based on,” Bateman said, “like ‘The Martian’ and ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘The 5th Wave’ and things where media is tied in.”

top25books2015
The most circulated books from the library last semester. Photo courtesy of Amity Bateman

The most borrowed books from the library confirm her interpretation. Of the top 25, 19 are also films or television series. However, it is high fantasy that trumps the list. At the top is Sarah J. Maas’s fourth novel of her epic “Throne of Glass” series, with two others in the series in positions five and ten. The list also included other novels as well as manga, Japanese graphic novels. The highest “classic” book was Fahrenheit 451, at number 17, which Bateman said was likely borrowed before class when students left their copies at home.

Sophomore Phoebe Yohanes is an avid reader and, according to Bateman, Yohanes has checked Maas’s books out enough to be the reason it is so high on the list.

Yohanes said she first discovered Sarah J. Maas, the novel’s author, from a reading competition at her middle school.

“[Queen of Shadows is] all so detailed,” Yohanes said. “There are so many things going on in that, that if you miss one book, then… you just miss all the detail.”

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Library aide Phoebe Yohanes, one of the most prolific readers at HHS. Photo by Desmond Kamas

Book Nook, a library-focused club, gained notoriety since its founding last year. Club president Nitin Vidyasagar said part of the reason he took the focus on the public service aspect of books and literature was because he noticed the change in library use. Vidyasagar sa
id he and co-founder Gabriella Morozowski wanted to improve student involvement.

“We just felt that it would be a good way to integrate the student into a community to be with their friends and help at the library,” Vidyasagar said.

Throughout the past year, Book Nook has helped connect people to the library, including an extra credit opportunity in collaboration with the English department last semester. They plan to launch a book drive in the upcoming months with Book Club, National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation to help students at Meadows Elementary School, beginning in March. The school has been suffering from budget cuts and cannot afford basic necessities, such as textbooks and school supplies, for its students.

As far as this coming year is concerned for the lib

rary, Bateman predicts the escapist fiction trend will continue.

“I do expect the trend in epic fantasy to continue. There’s been a little uptick in… people’s secret identities, you know, they’re at a girls school — but it’s really a school for spies,” Bateman said.

See a longer list of 2015’s young adult literature here.

Cake it up

When asked about their opinions on makeup and the methods they use, seniors Subani Sijapati and Alexis Farias expressed seeing makeup as an art form and form of expression. Sijapati explained her knowledge on contouring, strobing, bronzing and cooking.

Just like there are different forms of art, there are different forms of makeup. Everyday, facial structures are constructed through methods called contouring, strobing and cooking.

“People confuse contouring and bronzing,” Sijapati said. Sijapati said bronzing is a form of adding color and a glow, whereas contouring is a method used to bring dimension and shadow to form a specific facial structure.

According to Popsugar, an online media network, strobing involves highlighting the pinpoints of one’s face such as beneath one’s cheekbones, bridge of one’s nose, along the hairline and underneath the jawline.

“Strobing is about highlighting the key points of your face,” Sijapati said, “like your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose… cupid’s bow and brow bones.”

Cosmopolitan, a beauty magazine, describes cooking as adding an excessive amount of powder for about five to ten minutes, then blending out in order to achieve a flawless, luminant face.

“I think makeup is a fun way to express yourself…and some people think others overdo it, but I think that if you feel comfortable in the makeup that you are doing,” Farias said. “It’s an art… it’s a good way to express yourself [and] I think that it is a good thing to do.” Let makeup speak for itself.

So embrace the face whether it is a full face of powder and eyeshadows or just mascara. Never let anyone tell you the way your face should be expressed or formed. At the end of the day everybody has their own beautiful face to flaunt. Take some tips if seems necessary but let it be you and show off some mad skills!

Whether it be a face full of powder or mascara on the lashes it is up to every person.

As American rapper and record producer Kanye West tweeted, “You’re gonna love me or you’re gonna hate me, but I’ma be me.” Whether you chooses to cake it up or go for a natural look, let it be you.