Eight Penn student performing arts groups will be performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City this December.
The showcase called “A Toast to Dear Old Penn” — which will be held on Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. this year — is organized annually through the Platt Student Performing Arts House and will be held in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.
This year’s lineup includes performances from the Arts House Dance Company, iNtuitons Experimental Theatre, Penn Atma, Penn Jazz Ensemble, Penn Lions, Penn's West African Vibe, The Pennchants, and The Quaker Notes.
Laurie McCall, the director of Platt House, said that the event brings students and alumni together to celebrate the performing arts.
“The aim of this event is two-fold: One is to give an opportunity for student performers to be on an iconic stage in an iconic city, and two, it's also an alumni engagement event for alums who don’t always have the opportunity to return to campus to watch all of these very talented performing arts groups,” McCall said.
McCall added that the showcase is an opportunity for other communities outside of the University to experience Penn students’ talents.
“Penn has talented students across all types of academic and extracurricular areas, and it is really incredible that we can put them all on a stage in Carnegie Hall and show everyone in New York really that our students are talented, enjoyable, and worth seeing,” McCall said.
Engineering senior and Pennchants President Evan Bean echoed McCall's sentiments about the importance of engaging alumni through the showcase.
“We really appreciate the university for facilitating these kinds of events that make the Penn performing art scene a little bit special this year,” Bean said. “We also want to have outreach to Penn’s alumni and to use our voices, literally, to bring alumni back, make them feel connected to the University, and bring them in for events that they can enjoy.”
Bean added that the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall is an amazing opportunity for both older and newer members of Pennchants.
“Being able to perform at Carnegie Hall is a huge deal, especially for the newer members of the group who are just getting started out,” he said.
For Tiffany Lu, a College senior and director of Penn Lions, the showcase is an opportunity for her to perform Southern Chinese Hok San style of lion dance.
“This performance is an opportunity for us to showcase the traditional art of lion dancing, which is pretty uncommon around the East Coast, with a larger community,” Lu said. “Our club members have been training for a number of years, so this is a great event to showcase all the hard work we've put in to train to become really good lion dancers.”
College senior and President of Penn Jazz John Fath said that hard work and dedication have gone into practicing for the showcase.
“We are an instrumental ensemble, which is often harder to showcase at events like this because we have a lot of instruments that we need to transport," Fath said.
Penn Jazz's performance comprises 18 musicians who have collectively put in over 70 hours of practice into their set, according to Fath.
“There's a lot of really good talent and people who seem to care about the group this year, so concerts like this really raise morale and are exciting for the future of what instrumental jazz looks like at the University,” Fath said.