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Hidden Talents Under the Lights

The Fourth Annual Music on the Plaza Takes Place in Cartee Gym


Photo by Leah Kiros/Maclay Andalusian


Typically the location for lower school gym classes, ceremonies, dances or sports tournaments, Cartee gym was turned into a concert hall Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023. As the name suggests, the event was scheduled to take place outside, but had to be moved to Cartee due to the inclement weather. Despite the change in plans, nothing could dim the excited ambiance of the event. The front of Cartee featured a row of three food trucks—Sneauxballs, Stick a Fork In It and Cowgirl Chuckwagon. String lights adorned the ceiling, while stage lights projected a spectrum of colors. The audience enjoyed a diverse array of performances, including solos, strings, musical acts, dances, bands and orchestras. Spectators viewed performances from family, peers or colleagues all from the lower, middle or upper school.


The Popular Music 1 class included seniors Samantha Lee, Ellis Strickland and Alex Moore. Their performances of “Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy and “Babydoll” by Dominic Fike received  copious applause from the audience. The class worked on this performance for a month and a half and tested their skills in a performance during homeroom to get ready for a large crowd.


“It [the performance] was a rush,” Moore said. “There were so many people and so many emotions but it was exciting. It was just an unforgettable experience.”


Parents watching their children perform felt a similar rush as they waited on the edge of their seats for their childrens’ group or solo performance to come up. Upper school English teacher Craig Beaven watched his son perform in the middle school band and saw his own students perform in various acts. 


“It [Cartee’s atmosphere] was excellent, I thought everything was perfect; I really loved it,” Beaven said. “My favorite part was just seeing everyone’s talent because you see everyone every day and you don’t know that they can secretly throw down on their instrument, vocally or on the dance floor.” 


For new performers, the crowd size seemed daunting, but students remembered all the hours of practice that was put into this event to perform well.


“We took our time learning and mastering each step of the dance,” freshman Ellie Mazziotta said. “Mrs. Seckel, our theater teacher, would have us come down to the gym during lunch and practice more as well. I really love this performance. We all interact with each other having a good time! It is honestly very joyful performing this with friends/ performing in front of people is some fright, but we usually push through.”

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