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WHS Tri Music hosted coffeehouse for student performers By Renee Abbott

On Nov. 13, WHS Tri Music organization hosted a coffeehouse performance in the WHS cafeteria, gathering parents, students and faculty members to see the various musical talents from high school students. Organized by Tri Music presidents Margaret Wall and Jodi Matthew, and supported by the Walpole Friends of Music (WFM), the event allowed students to grow as both performers and leaders.

“[Leading Tri Music has] been a great opportunity to learn about leadership and organization. It’s also given me more confidence because I feel like I have to be a role model and spokesperson for the music department,” Wall said.

The WHS Tri Music organization began in the 2018-2019 school year, and since then, has organized many music department events and gathered students to foster a creative community and encourage personal growth and development.

“A Tri Music Honor Society chapter opens up a world of opportunities for students who have already shown themselves to be academically capable and musically gifted,” the Tri Music website stated. “Through performance and community service, they’ll develop confidence, creativity, critical thinking, compassion, and a host of other leadership skills sure to serve them well in school and beyond.”

Students from all grades performed at the coffeehouse in vocal and instrumental numbers ranging from a group Jazz band mashup performance to a solo a cappella piece. Music Department Head Ken Gable and Choral Director Ashley Prickel Kane assisted performers with the microphones and provided guidance in the rehearsal components leading up to the event.

“The coffeehouse is unique in that there are one or two kids in each group, so you can really focus on the individual talents and work of the students rather than a whole group, whereas when you see the band or orchestra perform it is the entire group,” Prickel Kane said.

Tri Music worked with the WFM to provide refreshments and funding for the coffeehouse. WFM was founded in 2008 and since then, has given out more than $20,000 in scholarships and awards and $30,000 in musical instrument purchases. WFM supports Walpole’s youth music program by providing funding, organizing events and guest players and working behind the scenes at concerts.

“I think the arts departments of Walpole need a lot more funding, and I think it is important to have events like this so people can show their talents and get funding for the performing arts in Walpole,” junior vocalist Kaya Robin said.

Students and faculty members attended the coffeehouse in support of the arts and in support of student performers.

“Music is one of the most profound ways to communicate and express yourself and if we don’t have that, what do we have?” Wall said.

Photos/ Renee Abbott