Yeshivat Frisch held its annual Evening of the Arts last Wednesday virtually, highlighting the incredible achievements of the school’s art and music students during a year of great challenges.
The program began with opening remarks by Cougar Chorus Co-Presidents Ariella Burnstein and Eiden Weinberg, both juniors, who introduced the audience to what it was like doing music at Frisch during the pandemic. “This year has been very challenging for our choir, but we have made the most of it,” said Burnstein. “Choir has been meeting weekly in person, outdoors and masked, and during the colder months on Zoom, working hard to bring meaningful music to the Frisch community.”
Next, the program featured stunning musical performances in both English and Hebrew by the Frisch Cougar Chorus and Performance Ensemble, showcasing the students’ musical talents as well as their outstanding coordination and professionalism.
“Because we were limited in our live performances this year, we utilized the amazing recording studio here at Frisch to record and produce many of our own arrangements,” explained Weinberg. Indeed, these recordings became a highlight of virtual Frisch events over the course of the year.
The co-presidents also expressed their gratitude toward Cougar Chorus Director Randi Wartelsky, who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the choir would not only continue to exist, but to grow and thrive despite COVID. “Mrs. Wartelsky, you continuously amaze us with your musical expertise and have helped us so much throughout the year,” said Burnstein.
Following the “evening of song” portion of the program, the audience heard reflections by seniors in Frisch’s Art Track. After four years in Frisch’s art program, this year’s cohort is moving on, with each student boasting a tremendous portfolio of work to show from their time at Frisch.
The students stressed the significance of having spent four years together in the art room. “I think it’s a very unique experience to be in the same Art Track with the same people and the same teachers for four years, and I think it’s very special because you get to develop relationships with everybody and they know where you’re at with your skills,” said Eden Lippe. “That actually contributed a lot to me growing as an artist.”
Kayla Mantell agreed. “Just from looking at everyone’s work you learn a lot from your peers,” she said.
Cherished friendships were also formed. “To be surrounded by the kind of artists that I have for four years, both students and teachers, has been incredible,” said Daniel Morrison. “I’ve grown and seen other people grow. And the amount of really close friends that I’ve made in the Art Track has made my life so much better and has been an amazing experience.”
Erin Helfer credited Frisch’s Arts Program Director Ahuva Winslow and art teacher Mira Levy for helping her find her passion. “I think it’s really special that we were all able to find a common ground in our love for art,” said Helfer. “I am literally obsessed with painting and I never knew I could do anything that I have done in the past four years before coming to Frisch.”
At the end of the Evening of the Arts program, the Frisch Art Gallery 2021 website went live at www.frisch.org/artgallery. The online exhibit reflects the breadth and depth of the work completed this year by Frisch art students in ninth through 12th grade.