The Spring Performing Arts Festival is set to feature live concerts from Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Vocal groups


The dance team lifts Helen Zhang ‘25 during practice. Photo by Yina Yao ’25.

This Friday, April 29, Hill dancers, vocalists, and instrumentalists will face one of their biggest tasks: the Spring Concert. They have been working countless hours on the performance, and it would finally be time for them to shine and show the Hill community their accomplishments. 

Dancers at Hill have been busy preparing for the performance in the art studio. They are heading to the CFTA, ready to go on stage after warmup. 

“Our theme is arts collaboration. So we’re doing whole integration and different art forms coming together within the dance pieces.” Dance Instructor Laura Cobbs said. The dance performance will contain diverse art forms, including live instruments, live vocalists, costumes, and screen designs.

The dance group is dedicated to uniting different artists within Hill. “I just feel like now is the time more than ever, like in our worldly environment, even outside of Hill that we need to find unity and togetherness and sort of celebrate where we are,” Cobbs said. Their most crucial goal is to find unity in different art techniques and styles, including a range of artistic styles such as ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and tap.

Mikhaila Smith ’22 choreographed her first group dance that will be performed at the spring concert. “I really like the environment that encourages us to be artists. Yeah, I love dancing and I love this program,” Smith said. Mikhaila is passionate about dancing and choreographing for the team.

Mikhaila Smith 22 practicing solo on stage. Photo by Yina Yao 25.

The dancers warm up first and then work on their own pieces of dance. “Before I came here, I’d say I was pretty robotic since I went to a ballet conservatory. And since coming here, I’m a better dancer. I’m a better artist.” Mikhaila said. Students improve themselves in classes by working on self-choreographies. 

A wide range of instruments and music from the Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble groups will also be heard by many different students in the CFTA.

Rena Zhang ’25 will be playing the violin at the concert. She will be doing a double duet with Johnny Dai ’22. She looks forward to showcasing her abilities on the big stage in front of her peers and performing with Dai. 

Casey Li ’23 will be playing the clarinet at the concert. After talking with him for a little bit, he seemed to be very confident and well-poised leading up to the concert.“I am feeling great, everyone is really close to concert level and l improved a lot,” Li said. “[I’m] really looking forward to it and playing with friends!”

Li is someone to have an eye on as he practices hard and retains excellent confidence. As far as nerves do go Casey said, “I am not nervous. I’m ready to enjoy and listen to some good music.” 

Zhang said, “I am kinda nervous but also really excited for the concert as I have been practicing.”

Nerves are not new to these performers as they often have to play under pressure in front of hundreds of people in the audience.

Casey Li 23 practices the clarinet in the CFTA. Photo by Reid Singer 24.

On the other hand, Hill’s vocalists will spotlight a wide array of music from the underrepresented. Yoon Soo Lim, the Oaklawn-Tuttle director of vocal music, looks forward to showcasing the program’s diverse reach, specifically from female musicians. 

“The Spring Vocal Music program 2022 highlights women composers, performers, and arrangers around the globe,” Lim stated in an email. 

Hilltones and Trebles will perform, guided by their student leaders. Harry Zhu 22 and Luke Gerdeman 23 lead the Hilltones as co-presidents while the Hilltrebles are led by co-presidents Holly Perna ‘22 and Anna Carroll 23, and vice president Liza Eames ’22. 

Lim also emphasized the openness of the department, stating, “[the vocal music department] always looks for opportunities to perform with either the orchestra or jazz band, but when concert prep time is limited, it’s hard to put different ensembles together. Now that The Hill School is getting back to normal scheduling, we hope to collaborate with the instrumentalists/dance groups on a regular basis.”

Be sure to come to the CFTA at 7:15 p.m. for a night of music and fun from these three programs!