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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Westwood Choirs Bring ‘Girl Talk’ to Stage for Playlist Concert

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  • On the PAC stage, Kalia Wang ’26 performs a verse from her duet with Ryan Gu ’26. The duo performed ‘Both Sides Now’ by Joni Mitchell, and the Playlist performance marked their third year in a row performing duets at end-of-year concerts.

  • Avery Parks and her fellow seniors hold hands in joy as the show closes. Shortly after the seniors were joined by the rest of choir to perform a couple more songs.

  • Performing their duet, Anna Bruce and Kate Hammonds ’27 sing ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger’. The duo filled the crowd with energy.

  • Dancing along with fellow Choir members, Avery Parks ’24 energetically performs. The members energetically danced and sang to the song ‘Innova’, a mashup of Adele’s songs.

  • Energetically singing, Stella Marquardt ’25 performs ‘Get This Party Started’. Marquardt practiced her solo for months to prepare for Playlist.

  • Seniors Kayla Contello, Elise Trenk, and Anika Iyer sing ‘Cowboy Take Me Away’. Contello, Trenk, and Iyer are all co-presidents of choir.

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All Westwood Choirs took to the Raymond E. Hartfield Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Saturday, April 21 to perform their end-of-year pop showcase Playlist. Each individual class choir, in addition to the show choir club Audacity and solo performers, performed a selection of songs, all written by female songwriters and singers.

“Originally, [the theme] was supposed to be Elton John, [but] one of our current presidents proposed Girl Talk, which was music written and sung by women,” Playlist officer Anika Salsberry ‘25 said. “I was able to pick out a bunch of songs, along with my two other playlist officers. We were able to represent a variety of different artists, from a variety of different generations and different genres.”

Many songs featured choreography, created by dance teacher and choreographer Ms. Katie Gunderson and Playlist officer Avery Parks ‘24. In addition to creating dances, Parks was also responsible for teaching and cleaning the choreography for all the choirs.

“I started with making my own choreography, which took a lot of time and a lot of notes,” Parks said. “And then I started teaching it in class, but when we started having after-school rehearsals was when it started coming together. And then I started meeting with our professional choreographer in the mornings, and she would teach me opener and closer which I would then teach to the class.” 

During the first act of the performance, Choir Presidents and seniors Kayla Contello, Elise Trenk, and Annika Iyer performed Cowboy Take Me Away by the Chicks. The performance served to celebrate the work all three had done together as presidents throughout the year.

We turned this program into something we all wanted to experience and had others enjoy that as well.

— Iyer

“It’s been really amazing working with both Kayla and Elise, my two co-presidents,” Iyer said. “I feel like we all have different things we wanted to bring into choir and make [it] a really great experience. We turned this program into something we all wanted to experience and had others enjoy that as well.”

Before the performance, solo singers as well as small groups had the chance to audition for individual numbers in the show. A total of twelve individual songs were included in the program, spanning the gamut of female-written songs – from Billie Eilish’s What Was I Made For? to Kelly Clarkson’s What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger. One of these performances was a duet to Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell, performed by sophomores Ryan Gu and Kalia Wang.

“We’ve been doing duets for spring shows for a couple of years,” Gu said. “I think this is our third year doing a duet, so it wasn’t really a question. My favorite part was the performance itself. We worked so hard, and it was about having fun and feeling good about the work we did.”

Through all of the work involved, singers agreed that the end-of-year concert was a fulfilling way to bring closure to their season and unite all the choir members in one high-energy performance.

“It was exciting to interact and dance with people from all of the choirs,” Iyer said. “To be together is something we usually don’t get to experience.”

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About the Contributors
Sabrina Kim
Sabrina Kim, Heritage Section Editor
Class of 2025 I’ve been obsessed with writing for as long as I’ve been retaining memories, and I’m unbelievably excited to get to write for the Horizon and work for the Heritage. I’m almost as—if not equally—enthusiastic about design, speculative fiction, traditional and digital art, playing guitar, volleyball, crocheting and knitting, consuming every kind of food and drink, learning languages, crosswords, having unreasonably strong opinions about everything, and Westwood Theatre, in no particular order. Some might say I do too much. They’re probably right.
Rifah Mirza
Rifah Mirza, Photographer
Class of 2025 Hello! For as long as I can remember I've always been fascinated with writing and photography. Which is why I am so excited to be apart of the Horizon and working on Heritage! Apart from writing, I love learning new languages, traveling, playing the piano, going to concerts, or playing word hunt!

Comments (2)

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  • K

    K'LynnMay 21, 2024 at 11:51 am

    The pictures that were captured during each moment was really nice!

  • S

    Sophia C.May 20, 2024 at 9:13 am

    Anika sounds like a very hard worker. It is impressive how much time and energy she put into the choir team.