Five seniors will perform at UA’s May 27 commencement ceremony

by Sophie Yang, ’19

You’ve Got a Friend: Jordyn Stone and Griffin Young

With Jordyn Stone on vocals and Griffin Young on piano, the two seniors—who chose a piece after Young brought up the idea last July—have been hard at work preparing Carole King’s 1971 hit, “You’ve Got a Friend,” to play at graduation.

Senior Jordyn Stone stands aside senior Griffin Young as the two rehearse “You’ve Got a Friend” during 6th period study hall. Photo courtesy Jordyn Stone.

“[The song] says you’ve got a friend, no matter what season it is. No matter how old you are or where you go, we’ll always be there,” Stone said. “I went to graduation sophomore year, and I always really hoped I would get the chance to do this . . . Thinking about it now, I’m so pumped.”

Stone, who has nearly ten years of singing experience and plans to study vocal music at The Ohio State University, said she was very excited to play at graduation, an event that still feels surreal.

“It’s not going to hit until we’re actually there,” Stone said.

Young, who has committed to The Ohio State University with a major in nursing, said he was also thrilled about the opportunity.

“I’ve been playing piano since I was 9 years old . . . it’s become a really big part of my life,” Young said. “The one instrument that I continue with would be the piano, just because it’s the one that’s done so much for me . . . It’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Libretto: Mimi Cai and Minjue Wu

Senior Mimi Cai sings alongside accompanist senior Minjue Wu during lunch period. Photo by Charlotte Janes.

When nostalgia is running high at graduation, seniors Mimi Cai and Minjue Wu’s performance of Franz Schubert’s “Leise flehen meine Lieder” will do little to alleviate it. Cai, who will be singing the German opera piece, described its tone as “longing” and “a bit melancholic.”

“It still sometimes goes into a major key, so it’s happy too. I think it reflects the tone of graduation . . . I’ll certainly miss a lot of people and teachers here, but I’m excited to move on,” Cai said.

Wu, accompanying on piano, expressed a similar sentiment.

“It’s somber [and] very introspective,” Wu said. “I think at least in some part, we’re hoping to present an area of art that most people aren’t familiar with, and that element of surprise at graduation [perhaps] suggests that there are new discoveries to be made even when high school is ending.”

Although Cai has studied the piece in the past, the graduation performance was a somewhat last-minute choice. However, Cai and Wu, who have studied voice and piano for five and 12 years respectively, see the performance as a positive send-off: in the fall, Cai will be attending The Ohio State University and Wu will be attending Princeton University.

A Flute ‘Romance’: Sophie Galucci

Senior Sophie Gallucci’s flute solo, “Romance” by Georges Brun, was selected as one of the three musical performances on graduation day.

“It’s a calming song, but it’s also in a way celebratory. It has a couple different sections, contrasting stuff. I like that it showcases the full range of the instrument,” Gallucci said.

Senior Sophie Gallucci plays piccolo in the UA Marching Band during Band Camp. Photo courtesy Janet McOwen.

Gallucci, inspired by her grandmother, has been playing flute since 5th grade. Having participated in both band and pit orchestra in her high school career, the performance will be both a reflection and a send-off to the next part of her life: double-majoring in flute performance and environmental science at The Ohio State University.

“It feels like a nice tribute to my involvement in the music program,” Gallucci said. “I just really hope that people feel something when they hear me play. Being able to share my flute playing with someone is a really special thing to me because it’s a way for me to express myself. So being able to do that at graduation . . . people will enjoy it and it’ll feel right for the moment,” Gallucci said.