Did ZOA rock?

Last Saturday night, music lovers and ZOA supporters joined together to attend ZOA Rock at Les Caves de Bon-Sejour, a comfortably-sized bar right down the street from College du Leman.

Walking down the stairs, I handed my ticket to the ZOA volunteers, found some people I knew and claimed a table with chairs in the back corner of the room. Biding my time with a Coke until the first performance, we sat around the table and talked about who was playing, when they would be going on stage, and how we were looking forward to seeing our teachers and peers perform.

When the lights flashed to warn everyone to take their seats, a stampede of people poured in from the other room, trying to find an empty chair. The lights dimmed and the show began.

The show opened with Stephanie Kelly, Khristina Shevchenko and Emily Wulf singing “I Gotta Feeling”, accompanied by Johnny de Croÿ-Solre, Jack Roebuck, John Suzuki, and Ryan Kale.

Throughout the evening performances, a variety of music styles were shared. Stephanie Kelly did an acoustic performance of a medley of different songs, along with her own composition, “Undecided”, in a more upbeat rhythm with Mr. Shaw’s band, Pure Malt. She also sang many songs with Johnny, Jack, John, and Ryan.

Nicely contrasting with the rock vibe of the entire night, Khyrystyna Shevchenko and Ximena Canseco beautifully sang Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel” and “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” in a Spanish translation, respectively.

It wasn’t just students who performed that night. Teachers came with friends to support ZOA and enjoy the music. A member of faculty walked on stage and introduced his band in the thickest French accent imaginable, but performed “Born To Run” in perfect English with no trace of an accent.

After they were done, Mr. Shaw walked on the stage and introduced his band, Pure Malt. After performing “Alive”, they started up on “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, which led to my favorite moment of the show. The chorus began and two middle-aged teachers started banging their heads and hands, forming a rock n’ roll salute. I felt compelled to raise a lighter in the air and sway with the music, but resisted due to the fire hazard. Mr. Shaw performed as if he were a retired rock star that never really retired. As each performer left the stage, Chris (I don’t know his last name, sorry!) and Jack Roebuck remained behind and kept the beat, focusing on their music the entire night.

After another performance from Johnny, Jack, Ryan, and John, a new face jumped on stage. Introduced as D-Man and dressed in bright, colorful clothing, he began rapping to music played by the previously mentioned musicians while waving a green glow stick in the air. He created such a energetic atmosphere with a refreshing performance of a song simply called “Rap”. I, along with the audience, got up from their seats and began dancing to his beat.

Mr. Shaw sang alongside Isabelle Skidmore in “Lightning Crashes.” He and his band later performed with Emily Wulf as well. Her performance was very upbeat. With a smile on her face, she sang and kept time with her foot. Isabelle’s performance, on the other hand, was solemn and tranquil. She sang a slow song, easing down the audience as the end of the night drew near.

To be honest, I was a bit surprised by how well everyone performed. They were fantastic! The collection of performances staggered my brain as I left the venue. The sheer amount of awesomeness was overwhelming. Once I arrived home, I raved over the concert and described to the father what exactly he had missed out on. Simply sensational.

By Alexandra and Diana Smith

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