By Natalie Lorenzo, Editorial Staff (‘23)

The 2022 Teen Arts Festival took place on March 25th and was a huge hit amongst students and performers alike. This year’s performance was an exceptionally significant one, since the last two years’ performances had to be canceled due to COVID. In fact, the 2020 festival had been scheduled for the infamous Friday the 13th in March of that year, and all the preparations, rehearsals, and efforts that the performers had put into the event were ultimately wasted when it ended up being canceled mere hours before it was scheduled to occur; aside from that, many of the programs had simply been unable to perform, such as the band, who had their winter concert canceled and their spring concert shortened and moved outdoors. Overall, it was difficult for the performers to come together with the weight of the COVID circumstances upon their shoulders. Since this year’s Teen Arts Festival was the first one since 2019, many were excited to see this exciting arts showcase comeback. 

This year’s show was led and run by seniors Jaden Mayer-Costa and Emily Bonini. Jaden reflected about the stress from the difficulties with planning the festival in addition to relief of the show’s success stating, “The process was a little difficult since we didn’t have a sponsor for the show this year for the proceeds to go to. Ultimately, we decided to get the most people to come, we would run the show at no cost to the audience. This paid off as there was a decently sized crowd. It made us proud to see all of IHHS’s talented performers getting the recognition they deserve as they all did an incredible job.” 

Emily also commented, saying, “Overall Teen Arts was a huge success. We were so happy to be able to do it this year after two years of it not happening. It’s an amazing event because we have an opportunity to share everyone’s love of the arts in different ways! We hope this tradition continues!”

Audience member Eve Nevelos reiterated the success of this event, and gave the team well-deserved recognition: “There were a great variety of acts and all performers did amazingly! I was impressed to see all of the talent that IH students have. Emily and Jaden did an amazing job at hosting and organizing the event.”  

Another attendee, Zoe Jacobs, shared her thoughts, saying, “I think the show was great, it was super interesting (and hilarious). It was a great way for students to showcase their talents and for others to support their fellow friends. I loved all of the acts, but if I had to pick a few I would definitely say the Brasskickers, Pattern blue, ‘Shallow,’ and of course, Jaden’s ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno.’ It was super awesome to see students sing, play instruments, and crack jokes.” 

In fact, Jaden’s performance was an encore of his Mr. Indian Hills winning talent performance. 

Not only did the people organizing the event and those watching it delight in the experience, but the performers also enjoyed themselves as well. 

Jaedan Orsini, the Marching Band Drumline captain, spoke about his drumline’s performance in the show, noting, “The performance went very smoothly, preparing was fun and we focused on keeping our energy up as only a few of us have really performed on stage.”

His observations further illuminated the fact that not everyone has performed before due to the last two years’ situations, but this year was a rewarding change of pace.

Overall, the Teen Arts Festival was a major success and gave many their first opportunity to celebrate the arts outside of music classes, school-organized bands, and IHTC.