The Walpole High School (WHS) Music Department hosted the first Play-o-thon to support students for their performance trip to New York City. At the Play-o-thon, students, alumni, and faculty performed from 1 to 4 in the auditorium. This event was the Tri-M National Honor Society’s service project in accord with music department teachers Ashley Prickel-Kane and Ken Gable.
“This is Tri-M's first year of being an established music honors society within Walpole High School, so currently we don't have much that we are sponsoring,” Tri-M President Rachel Tetreault said. “We would like to continue to try and get involved within the community and have events that not only involve high school students but residents, alumni and faculty as we did with the Play-o-thon.”
Throughout the Play-o-thon, students across all sections of the music department performed songs. Some performed popular songs, like Caroline Gebhardt, whom played piano versions of pieces including Shawn Mendes’ Stitches, ABBA’s Dancing Queen and duets with violinist Lisa Jair. They performed Perfect by Ed Sheeran, When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars and Fight Song by Rachel Platten. Local bands, The Inflatables and the Wrentham Barn Blues Band, played sets featuring many WHS alumni musicians.
"Even though it might not be the same genre of music you hear from these bands, it's still inspiring to see what you can become in your future," said Prickel-Kane.
Additionally, students composed some of the pieces performed. One composer was sophomore Martha Hilty, who arranged “My Shot” from the musical "Hamilton." Over a dozen people were involved in the performance of this piece, including 5 vocalists and 7 instrumentalists. Another composer was senior Aaron Suttle, who arranged a "Star Wars" medley and "Shenandoah." His pieces required five musicians: trumpetists Kyle Schmottlach and Matt Avelar, French hornist Emily Tomasetti, and trombonists Cam Schmottlach and himself.
“Arranging Star Wars and Shenandoah and actually seeing them performed was a really great experience,”Suttle said. “I could see my hard work actually pay off to make something beautiful.”
A variety of instruments were played and varying genres were performed, but overall the day celebrated musicians of the WHS music department and Walpole musicians. The profits will go to the music department’s New York performance trip, where around 70 students will embark on the trip where they will perform where and go to a Broadway show in April.
“I’m pumped to see our music department branch out and try some new stuff in New York,” Hilty said.