Andrews Nestles Into Fall Semester
On Sept. 16, The Nest—a gathering of artistic students organied under the direction of Serge Gedeon (senior, English)—showcased the lyrical and musical talents of the Andrews student body. Upper and underclassmen alike displayed aptness for both music and spoken word poetry.
The evening started on a strong note with a poem by Marialexxa Holman (sophomore, psychology), who lightened the mood with a quick quip: “Can we lower the mic? I’m really short and stressed.”
Her poem related the story of many mixed Americans who often feel stuck in an uncertain place between acceptance and rejection from their cultures, comparing the situation to a game of monkey-in-the-middle. As she finished with a declaration of belonging, the audience exploded into applause, whistles and cheering.
Several other acts provoked similar responses from the audience, including Adriana Santana’s (sophomore, psychology) dream-like rendition of “Drew Barrymore” by SZA, accompanied by Carlyle Tagalog (senior, psychology) on the keyboard, Jeremy Ahn (sophomore, music) on the guitar, and Kenneth Fraker (sophomore, accounting) on the cajón. Adriana’s trembling alto lent a surrealistic quality to the original song, and combined with the keyboard’s rhythmic intonations, elicited an awed silence from the crowd. She trailed off into vocal cadences like one falling asleep, finally looking up once the song ended and the audience woke from a collective dream.
Beginning with a sharp, “Aye mami, you in the short skirt!” Anna Gayle (sophomore, psychology) and Sharyl Cubero’s (sophomore, biology) spoken word piece, “Reclaiming Our Time,” detailed the necessity for Girl Love, a break in the cycle of girl-on-girl hate.
Rising in unison, Anna and Sharyl’s voices strengthened over a comparison of women to the otherworldly, to “more than art.” This art, like so many other necessities, cannot be undervalued or over-romanticized.
As they expressed “If I am Starry Night, then I am Van Gogh’s depression too. If I am the Mona Lisa, I will not smile for you” Anna and Sharyl advocate the unification of women—women coming together rather than tearing each other down. They stand for “the girls who wear short skirts and the girls who wear t-shirts,” because there should be no difference between them.
Closing the listed portion of The Nest, Brianna Seawood (freshman), Tidale Zulu (freshman), and Cassie Freeman (freshman) performed a stripped-down version of “Young, Dumb, and Broke,” by Khalid, bringing the audience to finger snapping, swaying, and humming. A fitting ending, the three girls’ version simplified the future soul song into its most basic elements: a single bassline and low, raspy vocals.
Despite the many talents on display, it is The Nest’s audience that keeps the gathering relevant. Without good-natured finger snapping in place of accompaniment or piercing whistles at the end of spoken word poems, the event would be a moot point. The student body shows support and admiration for their peers, and any performer that speaks to their hearts. The Nest persists as a yearly tradition because art must be shared to be appreciated. It bridges different types of people who find commonality in life experiences. Because art stems from emotion it communicates understanding between people, and the performers at The Nest brought their own understandings for the audience to explore.