A Block Contemp: First row: Rachael Murdock ’18, Rikki Palmer ‘18, Katie Wiatrak ‘18, Tate Shuttlesworth ‘18, Juliet Wiatrak ‘18, Joey Cleverdon ’18, Grant Freeman ’18, Evan Brandon ’18, Nathan Fisher ’18. Second row: Max Simon ’19, Clint Jacobs, Kadie Jacobs ’19

A Block Contemp: First row: Rachael Murdock ’18, Rikki Palmer ‘18, Katie Wiatrak ‘18, Tate Shuttlesworth ‘18, Juliet Wiatrak ‘18, Joey Cleverdon ’18, Grant Freeman ’18, Evan Brandon ’18, Nathan Fisher ’18. Second row: Max Simon ’19, Clint Jacobs, Kadie Jacobs ’19

My Last Contemp Concert

I have been taking the Contemporary Ensemble class throughout my entire Indian Springs education. It all started when I had my first guitar lesson with Mr. Jacobs, way back in 2014. Now, as a senior, that day seems like centuries ago. I went into Contemp playing simple chord progressions, admiring the upperclassmen who all seemed to know what they were doing. As the semesters have flown by, I moved from playing guitar to becoming a singer. This class has allowed me to explore my talents and figure out the role of music in my life.

Every semester, we have a Contemporary Ensemble concert where we perform the music we have accumulated over months of hard work. These concerts serve as a “final” for each semester of the class, and as we have performed at each concert over the past four years, I’ve felt comforted by the fact that I would always have another ahead of me. As I’ve performed with the Advanced class, mainly made up of seniors, I’ve felt this last concert coming closer with each day--it seemed like a reality we thought we would never have to face.

After the concert, I talked with multiple seniors in our Contemp class, asking them what they were thinking about after our performance. Rikki Palmer (vocalist) said, “Being able to perform with so many talented people who are all passionate about music is such a great feeling, and I’ll miss every single person I’ve performed with throughout my three years of being in Contemp.” This semester, Palmer sang lead on an extremely difficult jazz piece by Snarky Puppy. We all spent hours (both in and out of class) perfecting the song, and seeing all that hard work pay off was a feeling like no other.

Another dedicated member of the Contemp program, Juliet Wiatrak (electric bassist), told me, “Contemp has been the biggest part of my life since I was a sophomore. . . . it is what I looked forward to most each school day. I can’t imagine life without it, and it is so special to me and to Springs.” Wiatrak has worked tirelessly for this class throughout her time at Indian Springs, and it has not only given her the confidence to pursue a career in music, but also the skill and experience necessary for the contemporary band dynamic.

Program director Clint Jacobs also shared thoughts about the concert, saying, “The concert is always a really rewarding night! After a long week of class/tech in the theater, it’s really fun to finally enjoy the show! At the end of the day, it’s all about the experience.” Looking toward the future, Mr. Jacobs continued, “Upcoming students will have big shoes to fill, but I think the talent and hunger as a whole are there to keep the momentum moving forward.” This class is a unique and influential feature of Indian Springs, and after being a part of it for the past four years, I feel certain that the program will only grow from here.

--Katie Wiatrack '18