On Friday, April 27, the Harrison High School auditorium turned into a concert hall with Live from Graff. The event not only gives students who have a passion for music to show off their talents, but was also an overall great time for the attendant who decided to go to the event.
The lineup of Live from Graff went as follows:
1. The Floors (Aidan Andronicos, Thys Call, Kevin Gartland, Mark Glaser, Aidan Leaird, Patrick Sullivan)
2. The Capital City Kids (Cannon Garner, Ben Pijanowski, Preston Seymour)
3. Ewing Klipspringer
4. Harrison Jazz Choir (Nicole Bayley, Kylie Caroselli, Mikahla Combs, Janelle Davis, Annalise Drake, Grace Donnoe, Kensi Eiler, Brianna Griffin, Olivia McDaniel, Anna Miller, Angie Naranjo, Carolyn O’Neal, Chelsea Shafer, Lilly VanFossen)
5. Jonathon DeGraw
6. The Darts (Jed Caron, Karl Hagen, Sarah Holling, Preston Seymour, Elijah Wood, Shelby Marvin)
7. Jake Armes & Brooklin Morris
8. A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead walk into an auditorium (Jelly Chavez, Shelby Marvin, Ben Pijanowski)
9. Los ConJustos (Aidan Andronicos, Kevin Gartland, Karl Hagen, Justo Mansilla, Ben Pijanowski)
10. Peter Ropp
11. Peter Ropp & Chelsea Shafer
12. Los Nachos (Aidan Andronicos, Karl Hagen, Bryan Holt, Aidan Leaird, Patrick Sullivan)
13. Los Surfistas (Jed Caron, Karl Hagen, Aidan Leaird)
14. Miguel de Cervantes
15. Distortion in Moderation (Fog Man, Funk Master K, Gary Stardust, O.G.)
16. Silvia Lawson-Vilches
17. Frankenstein (Aidan Andronicos, Kevin Gartland, Mark Glaser, Justo Manislla, Ben Pijanowski)
18. Annalise Drake feat. Mama D & Shelby Marvin
19. Peanut Butter and Jelly’s (Jelly Chavez, Karl Hagen, Rhianna Ladd, Silvia Lawson-Vilches, Shelby Marvin)
20. Sidewalk Chalk (Aidan Andronicos, Karl Hagen, Aidan Leaird, Patrick Sullivan)
The acts that performed covered quite a large array of genres: Southern Rock, Rock ‘n Roll, Folk, Punk, Piano Ballads, and even a couple soul acts.
However, no matter the type of music each group played, they generally brought a good time along with them. For two or so hours, the show rarely hit a lull with the energy level, mainly keeping an upbeat vibe going on.
Even some of the slower, acoustic songs, such as Peter Ropp’s interactive performance of The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” got a positive reaction from the audience.
In between these acts, Mrs. Mansilla and Mr. Carlson provided some funny commentary to keep things running smoothly during transitions, including a bunch of gags that went over quite well with the audience.
Some of the biggest successes included Annalise Drake’s soulful belting during her act, a performance of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” and an encore featuring all of the performers leading a sing-a long of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.”
Not only is Live from Graff a great time for the students performing and spectating, but the event also is beneficial for those who need help. Much of the money raised with the concert went to charity. To enter the event, people had to bring a can of food alongside $7, the former going to the Food Finders.
Glow Sticks and Glow Necklaces were also sold at the event to help raise money for the Animal Shelter.
The ticket money went to various miscellaneous charities.
Do you feel that performing in Graff was easier once you’ve done it more than once?
Peter Ropp: I’d say so, yes. It felt more and more like home than a stage with each following year.
Kevin Gartland: The second time around was definitely much easier, I felt much more comfortable this time around.
Ben Pijanowski: The second time was much better than the first.
(Question for Peter Ropp and Chelsea Shafer) I remember you two performed together last year as well. Are you two close friends outside of simply performing together? Do you feel that these collaborations strengthen your friendship?
Ropp: Yeah we’ve been best friends since sophomore year, and I feel like Graff does help our friendship; I feel like it also strengthens our performance.
Shafer: Yeah, we are pretty much best friends. We have a few classes together and have been really close since we started performing together. I do think that singing together has strengthened our friendship because it makes us both more vulnerable and we can trust each other more.
Who were some of the people who supported you the most when you were practicing and preparing for Graff?
Shafer: Some people who supported me would definitely be Peter (Ropp), Anna Miller, Hodge, Dylan Griffin, Janelle Davis, Annalise Drake, and Mrs. Richardson. I have really great people around me.
Brooklin Morris: My family and Mrs. Mansilla were very supportive.
Ropp: My parents were very supportive of me over the years. They gave me a lot of opportunities, got me my first guitar, and allowed me to go to a music school.
Pijanowski: My band members and especially my parents, who let me use the house for practice even up to 11:30, playing loud music for a lot of the time.
Gartland: A lot of teachers were really supportive, especially Mr. and Mrs. Mansilla, Mr. Overbay, and Dr. Carlson.
Who are some your biggest musical inspirations and influences?
Shafer: I am inspired by Sara Bareilles. Her music is real and her voice is amazing. I love that she can engage a crowd with just her voice and a piano or guitar, but she can also get much more complex.
Morris: I don’t really know. I listen to a wide variety of music, so there are a lot of different people.
Ropp: Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz, and Michael Jackson
Gartland: Some of my biggest inspirations are Sublime, The Beatles, and especially Lynyrd Skynyrd
Pijanowski: I guess my brother, my friends, my parents, and Jimi Hendrix.