World Music Day delivers great performances amidst numerous setbacks

Antonio Bedon

After months of practice, the first ever remote World Music Day premiered on Wednesday night.

“World Music Day is in honor of Daniel Pearl for his love for music and going around the world to share his love for music,” music teacher Wes Hambright said. “Through these tough times, we’re not going to get something like WMD anywhere else and thankfully, to technology, we have this opportunity.”

All were welcome to attend this year’s spring World Music Day. Normally, World Music Day is in October, journalist Daniel Pearl’s birthday month. But due to the pandemic, they were forced to postpone it until March. This year’s World Music Day premiered live on YouTube at 7:15 p.m with a Zoom meeting being held with some of the student performers of World Music Day and whoever else wanted to join.

Viewers of World Music Day were welcomed to the show by a greeting from numerous staff and students in different languages, including Italian, Korean, Spanish and Armenian. This greeting was then followed by junior Spencer Vance opening the show with a piano solo “Waltz” in e-minor. Students this year attempted to establish a tone of togetherness by singing songs like “Always Forever,” “Keep Holding On,” “Yesterday” and Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s choir’s performance of “Hallelujah” and “Lean on me.”

“It was really nice to see it all edited together with the audio *mostly* syncing up,” senior vocalist Shannon Sullivan said. “With the YouTube premiere, I thought it was really nice to see the live chat and see people’s reaction.” 

Throughout the performance the musicians came together with a beautifully choreographed performance of drums, bass, guitar, ukulele and vocals. Many students play more than one instrument and perform in more than two songs. Hambright describes this year’s World Music Day as a self contained show.

“We had a lot of fun doing this show. A lot of trial and error to get the performances together. It wasn’t easy,” Hambright said.

This year’s World Music Day was a collaborative effort between the Daniel Pearl Music Department and the Video department, which is run by Mark Middlebrook. Middlebrook and his Pearl Net News staff worked for months to assemble the show and give us World Music Day.

Putting together a completely asynchronous concert took a lot of work and a lot of time. This year the performers used a new program called Sound Trap. Sound Trap is a digital audio workshop that works like a Google Docs and allows users to watch others perform and edit in real time.

“It was nice to catch people’s reactions in real time,”  said Sullivan, who is one of The Pearl Post’s digital media editors.

Among the long list of viewers of WMD was former principal Deb Smith, Smith retired from DPMHS in 2019 but despite leaving, many students and staff love Smith. 

“I must applaud you all for your ability to adjust to the “new normal.” I’ve followed you all as much as possible and am so impressed with everything you continue to accomplish,” Smith said. “I hope you are all well, and I am excited to see you all return to campus to give Mr. Petrossian the full DPMHS experience.”