Where do the renowned artists of Belmont Hill’s senior class go after they’ve passed on?
Rumor has it, there’s a promised land for the legends of BH theater, visual art, and music, a Valhalla of hearty prose, sculpture and song. In this special haven, the orchestra’s Vice President and longest tenured member Andrew Kaneb determinedly pulls the bow across the strings of his violin in the final bars of the Violin Fantasy for Orchestra and Chorus and Piano (may it Rest In Peace, until next year); his aggressive tremolo comes under the watchful eye of the piece’s conductor and composer Armin Thomas. President Armin never had a chance to conduct his finest composition as a Belmont Hill student, but the “stunt piece” is a smash hit in Senior Haven. Horns blare and percussion thunders as the violins continue their tremolo: it’s Mike Armstrong and Scott Jackson! “Third in command” of the orchestra, Mike’s night of performance ends with the stunt piece, but Scott’s night has just begun. Scott will play for the Jazz Band and Jazz Combo too, a stalwart on the drums as always. Scott isn’t the only drummer in this arbitrary arts community; versatile Gus Lamb boasts drum skills to go along with his ukulele prowess and his presence in the theater, where he shone in Of Mice and Men (alongside Jackson!). Speaking of the senior-directed play: even months after the show, those who had the privilege of being in the audience can still sense the powerful innocence of Seamus Clair’s character, Lennie Small. Bennett Rush’s southern drawl, Sebastian Themelis’s fiery disposition, and Marshall Knight’s cold rationality still ring true to audiences as we reflect on the graduating seniors’ final official production. The residents of this Senior Haven ooh and ahh at the new members of their thespian community. And of course, nothing would have been possible without the senior directors, Varun Shah and Peter Knowlton. Shah is a veteran of the tech booth, and Knowlton has himself starred in a number of BH theater productions. Nearly all of the cast members double as singers in the B-Flats, Belmont Hill’s resident a capella guys. Clair, Themelis, Shah, Knowlton, and Rush are all in the Flats; so are Dan Zakon, Jacob Whitney, Phil Bailey, and Will Ryan. The boys will sing for their fellow men tonight. Among them, Will enjoys the spotlight with the Flats, but he also has experience behind the scenes, directing the tech crew for many a theater production. You all saw Phil tear up the stage at the senior talent show, singing Chris Brown’s “With You” alongside the clearly very multi-talented Gus Lamb. Phil and Gus shared the stage with the seniors of the Rock Band, which included Clair, Knight, Jackson, Kaneb, Cam Hall, and Mack Perry. Mack and Cam have made their presences felt at Coffee Houses; Kaneb is also a frequent flier. Everyone knew Andrew could play a mean fiddle, but who knew he had a voice like silk? All the residents of this Senior Haven will revel in it for a long time to come. And speaking of the Coffee House, it was here that Armin compounded his indelible and unique impact on the BH arts. Not just Armin; all of these artists dramatically changed our community and our Belmont Hill experience for the better.
We’ll miss our guys as they move on to bigger and better things. May they ascend in peace.