As Mrs. Hamilton promptly reminded the Belmont Hill community in her virtual chapel talk on April 13th, music can have a nostalgic and sentimental effect that can bring communities of all shapes and sizes together even in the most strange times. Moreover, it is extremely fitting that in the absence of sports games, classes, and other events where individuals can convene and socialize, the Belmont Hill community has come closer together through music of various forms. Beginning with Ms. Hamilton’s stunning rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” the Belmont Hill community witnessed how such a creative and intimate performance can truly bring a community together despite being physically distant.
Just over a week after Mrs. Hamilton’s speech and performance, the Belmont Hill community witnessed another compilation of live musical performances in the virtual coffee house on April 21st. Despite being performed via a Zoom meeting instead of in the Kraft Theatre, which has traditionally hosted the semiannual Coffee Houses, the show was still a rousing success, with both stunning and passionate renditions of classic and novel songs filling the program. The audio and visual aspects of the Zoom meeting ran smoothly and professionally, and a large audience witnessed intricate piano performances from Mr. Fiori and Adrian Tan; passionate vocal performances from Ryan Cannistraro, Mr. Sherman, Andrew, and Aiden Lee, James Markis, Will Kelly, Mr. Schneider, Mr. Patterson, Ben Reyes, Mr. DiResta, and Ben Gunther; a guitar solo from Adam Alto; and even a bass performance from TJ Cannistraro. The sheer number of both performers and audience members who wished to spend their Tuesday evening listening to each others’ music gave this event a sense of community often absent in these difficult times. Despite the fact Belmont Hill is closed for the remainder of this school year, knowing that music can restore the sense of community and friendship that everyone at Belmont Hill misses will certainly help the school persevere through these challenging weeks.