The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

The Student news source for West Shore Junior/Senior High School

The Roar

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The keys to harmony

Sharing music unites student artists
Senior David Vingradov plays “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers in the senior parking lot on Sept. 18 to kick off the first day of Spirit Week: Barbie versus Oppenheimer. “My friend Ioana [Silaghi] spearheaded putting a piano in the parking lot, so I wanted to inaugurate the piano with a song about good friends,” he said.

Senior Ioana Silaghi pulls into her student parking spot every morning with a piano staring back at her. In September, Silaghi and senior David Vinogradov set up a piano by her parking spot, which is free for the student body to play before and after school.

“At the time, seniors were painting their spots, and I didn’t want to paint mine but I still wanted to do something,” she said. “I was sitting with David in Advanced Placement Music Theory class, and we came up with a random idea: why not bring a whole piano in a parking spot? So, David and I started searching for free pianos on Facebook marketplace. Then we found one not in too bad of a condition. [After we got the support of school administration], we picked up the piano and brought it to the school.”

The pianists performing usually gained a small crowd. Silaghi said she is glad she could help inspire a group of musically inclined students.

“It provided a space if anyone wanted to play in the morning,” she said. “It’s also a place where we can gather as a community. It created a lot of curious people asking, ‘What is that piano doing in a parking spot?’ I mean, it’s definitely not something you see every day. These creative questions usually led to discussions about music, which is always a great topic to discuss.”

Vinogradov said he and Silaghi were happy to bring more music into the school environment.

“I like sharing music because it’s an emotional outlet,” he said. “I put everything I have into piano and everything flies away. When playing an instrument, I feel free. It releases the constraints [of daily life.]”

Recently, the piano faced water damage from rainstorms. Junior June Griffith, a published music artist under the name Armadillo Petting Zoo, said she enjoyed having the piano in the parking lot despite its more worn condition.

“I love the idea of the piano in the parking lot,” she said. “I only ever played the piano after it got ruined by the weather. The keys are all sticky now, but it sounds cool broken.”

Sophomore Emily Marshall, the bassist for chamber orchestra and jazz band, played the piano a few times after school and often watched as others played the piano.

“Playing that piano was awesome,” Marshall said. “I was watching people drive by while attempting to play the piano and it was crazy. Seeing the piano every day adds a little something to the school. It’s not going to be something forgotten for a long time.”

Griffith said performing music can unite musicians at any level.

“Playing to and with friends is a transcending experience,” she said. “I truly believe playing live with others is the deepest and purest form of love. It’s like we exist not only on our physical plane, but in this plane beyond, where our minds and bodies are in sync with each other and the beat of the music. Eventually there isn’t even a difference between our bodies and the music — it’s like we’re all one big piece of moving art.”

Marshall said playing music brings people together from creating collective memories. Last June, Marshall and other orchestra performers performed for Brevard Strings Academy.

“We landed in New York as a little orchestra late at night and then we had a two-hour drive to get to where we were staying so we were all very, very tired,” she said. “We ate pizza at 12:30 in the morning in a freezing church, shared beds and laughed about the situation. It was just such a cool little time. We felt like starving artists but having that at the beginning of our trip made [our chemistry] a lot better. We all got closer not only throughout the trip, but also coming back and playing in the school orchestra. We had this one shared thing that we could all reminisce about.” 

Orchestra teacher Melanie Richardson, who specializes in the piano, said “playing or listening to music for 20 or 30 minutes can make [one] feel better regardless of what [one’s] doing.”

“Music can be either what you need or want it to be,” she said. “You can find music that is going to make you feel happy or if you’re already feeling happy, will emphasize your happiness. If you’re feeling sad, you can find music that will just have the most gut-wrenching melody and make you feel sad with it or just wallow in your sadness with you. I have a sign in my room that says, ‘Music is what feelings sound like.’ You’re able to find music to fit whatever mood you’re in. That’s really beautiful and really powerful.”

After playing piano for 11 years, Silaghi said “music is a way to escape from the world, but also to share the beauty of the world to others.”

“Music is universal,” she said. “It’s a language you can play to someone from Botswana or Fiji or anywhere and they can feel moved by it. It brings up anything you have pent up in your heart and just expresses it in the most beautiful way possible. By being universal, it creates a connection between all sides of the world and inspires everyone to unite with a common interest.”

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About the Contributors
Elena Konicki
Elena Konicki, Staff Writer
I’m a first-year sophomore on the "Roar". With all the stress stemming from the school year, writing takes my mind off of the myriad assignments I have due. The "Roar" is a wonderful outlet for me to spread news, opinions, and implications of current events. This is my second year playing JV volleyball for the school. This year I’m hosting Mock Trial Team, and I couldn’t be more excited!
Ella Dorfman
Ella Dorfman, Editor in Chief
Hi, I’m Ella! This is my third year on staff. I am so excited to carry on the torch this year and to continue to grow as a journalist. My favorite stories to cover are news and features.
Claire King
Claire King, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Claire King and I like to draw, garden, dance, sing, sew, and write. I am so excited to be on the "Roar" this year. I started journalism last year and fell in love with it. I hope my passion for learning, love of people, and aspiration to help others through journalism will benefit the team.