Meridian Music Night: Cajones, "Changes," and Cake
This is a guest post written by 10th grader, Jacob.
This past Wednesday, March 16th, I and other Meridian musicians played Meridian Music Night 2.0, a concert featuring work from the school’s entire music program. All of our music classes, along with the Meridian band, performed pieces they’d been practicing for months. Instruments included guitar, bass, ukulele, cello, cajone, tambourine, keyboard, mandolin, voice, and a cow skull. (I'm not even joking about the cow skull.) The groups, led by our wonderful music teacher Laura Jaye, were made up of 30 students. That might not sound like a staggering number, but at a school with only 65 kids, that’s almost half of our population!
Most of the songs were covers, but there were also some original compositions by students as well. As part of his Composition elective, my classmate Max was challenged to write a song using guitar riffs instead of chords, in the style of the band Cake. This resulted in two pieces, called “Don’t Listen to Me” and “Summerlies.” I wrote a song called “Jet Black Woman,” a new arrangement of a prison song recorded by Alan Lomax. This grew out of my “Lomax Sessions” elective, where I challenged myself to write modern arrangements of folk and traditional songs, inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s “Seeger Sessions” project.
It's safe to say that a lot of us were really nervous during the performance, myself certainly included, but by supporting each other we were able to overcome our anxiety and put on a -- if I do say so myself -- fantastic show. Just a few highlights include playing tUnE-yArDs’ weird and wonderful “Water Fountain,” Isaac’s successful campaign to cover a Justin Bieber song, the Ukulele Army from Laura’s increasingly popular uke classes, and, of course, a tribute to David Bowie. I had the equally terrifying and exciting opportunity to end the show by singing Soundgarden’s "Spoonman.” It felt appropriate to end such a great musical night by telling the audience to, as the lyrics say, “feel the rhythm with your hands.”