Sacramento student performers shine at ‘Spring Spectacle’



Dinara Brown, C. K. McClatchy High School

I attended the Spring Spectacle, which was put on by C.K. McClatchy student, Brandon Chan, in McClatchy’s black box theater on Friday, April 8. Chan opened the opportunity to perform at the event to any student in the Sacramento area. Many of Chan’s friends, some from other schools, used it as an opportunity to showcase their creative talents through poetry, dance and other musical performances.

In order to get into the event, each guest was required to provide at least one childrens’ book. While the number of guests was somewhat intimate at 27, Chan ended the night with a total of 230 books. He proceeded to donate these books to his childhood library at Didion Elementary School for his senior project.

Chan explained why he decided to tie his donation to a performance, “At first it was a book drive”, but he asked himself, “How can I make this into something that will engage my community more than just a donation?”

Throughout the night, Chan led the audience through a series of acts and told us all a bit about each artist before they came out onto the stage. I found this made it easier for me to connect with them. It was also a good way for Chan to demonstrate his own relationship with his peer performers, showing that the selection process for the performers was more personal than random.

A performance that stood out to me was a poetry recitation by John F. Kennedy High School senior, Lucas Zhao. He read his piece, “An Architect’s Notions of the City”. Zhao used beautifully descriptive language as a way to connect the audience to an architect’s perspective of a city. 

Shortly after Zhao, CKM seniors, Livian Hui and Larissa Yee did a musical duet. Hui was on the piano and Yee played her violin. The pairing of Hui’s deep and flowing style and Yee’s graceful performance worked nicely and was quite pleasing to the ears.

As Chan mentioned during the show, he and Yee attended Didion together. We can assume that this is where their friendship began.

“I’m glad to help Brandon out,” says Yee.

To prepare for her performance, Yee spent time over the past couple weeks practicing and listening to recordings of violinists she admires. This is in addition to her previous years of experience, “I’ve been playing since first grade so eleven years,” Yee said.

About midway through the night, Kennedy senior, Garrett Holt, showed a couple of his short films. Chan informed the audience that Holt had been filmmaking for three years. Holt had the crowd full of laughs during his awkward yet informational cooking videos in which he dramatically cooked simple recipes. 

While I did enjoy the music and poetry acts, I appreciated the variation to the show that this act provided.

Another thing I liked about this act was the fact that Chan had prepared a white screen before hand, so that Holt could show his videos without a problem. This demonstrated Chan’s consideration and ability to plan ahead as a host.

As the evening continued, student Lou Stein read aloud an original short story titled, “A Shape In the Snow”. When asked their favorite act, audience member Amahli Vivian said, “I liked all of them, but my favorite one was Lou’s piece”. They went on to describe it as, “really, really, really, really good”.

Shortly after, another one of my favorite acts took the stage. Senior at CKM, Kekoa Bright, played “Blue Rondo à la Turk” by Dave Brubeck on the piano. His performance was upbeat and he was able to keep the audience hooked with not just the music, but his facial expressions and connection with the crowd as well. 

He talked about his act after the show saying, “I thought I had fun. It wasn’t the best, but I had fun.”

The show was closed by two Kennedy seniors, Ojochenemi Idachaba and Michelle Erickson. They performed a self-choreographed dance routine to a K-pop song titled, “Naughty, Bad Girl”. What an amazing way to end the night. Their color-inverted outfits complimented the intricate and synchronized movements. As they danced, I thought to myself, “How are they remembering all of this?”

Despite the fantastic talent displayed, the purpose of the event was what truly stuck out to me. Chan explained, “It’s not just a donation to my childhood library. It’s a donation in my cousin’s name. She passed away from cancer 4 months ago and she went to Didion.”

He continued, “It rocked us to our core. I wanted to give back to her school.”

Not only did Chan have meaning behind his show, he was also able to use that meaning to donate to somewhere that meant a lot to him. With this in mind, as well as the excellent hosting and of course amazing performers, this event was not one to miss.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience, as did Chan. He said that the event absolutely met his expectations. I fully agree with Chan’s statement, “It came out super well.”