A Pine Crest Tradition: Playing for Change


Anna Selden

Upper School Playing for Change participants showcased their talents during homecoming week (via junior Anna Selden).

On Wednesday, October 17th, Playing for Change, Pine Crest’s biannual charity concert, took place in Stacy Auditorium. Students performed and cheered on their friends, all the while supporting this year’s featured charity, The Hurricane Relief Program, through donations.  

Sarah Rodriguez, one of the co-chairs of Playing for Change, stated that the charity, “gives food and helps repair damaged property for those in need.”

Rodriguez commented how there was an excess of auditions this year, with twenty-eight participants trying out and only sixteen being allowed to make the cut. The co-chair also said that it was difficult narrowing down the performers, but they decided to include varying genres of music, which was a bit different from the past.

Sofia Alkon, the other co-chair for Playing for Change, said that she,

“…enjoyed hearing all the talented people the school has to offer. We’re like a Playing for Change family now.”

The job of co-chair is a difficult one, where both Rodriguez and Alkon have to sit for auditions, select acts, run soundchecks, give directions to the backstage crew, work with the sound crew, and make sure each act is practicing their music. Meanwhile, they are working on preparing for their own performances. Rodriguez performed “Begging” with the help of senior Jack Rizzo, who played the cowbells, and Alkon performed a duet of “Shut Up and Dance” with junior Amanda Klayman. 

However, it is not just the co-chairs who have a lot on their plate. Performers often rely on the aid of live instrumentalists who usually assist in more than one act. These instrumentalists have to remember the music for each performance and practice for each act. Along with them were the emcees, seniors Meghna Sharma and Jabari Owens,  who came up with quirky, fun introductions for every performance.

After all the long hours and days of practicing, it was time for the performers to show off their hard work to the Pine Crest community. They astonished everyone with their wide variety of skills.

Psychology teacher Ms. Alexanderson shared her thoughts on some of the performers:

“…Denae and Niles Boothe blew me away…I was just…wow.” The sibling pair sang “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment.

Homecoming week is a time filled with so many enjoyable activities and Playing for Change is definitely a featured favorite amongst everyone. Once again, this year’s performance was one to remember due to all the talented performers and hard working co-chairs, along with the all the Pine Crest Panthers that came out to support their peers.