By Elaine Loft, Staff Writer
Reviving a special Derryfield tradition, three recent alumni were invited to return to the first Community Meeting of the new year to perform and reconnect.
Jael Fleurant ‘19 kicked off the program with two piano pieces. Accompanying herself on the piano, she first sang “Lovin’ You,” by Minnie Riperton. The study body, faculty and staff cheerfully obliged Fluerant’s request to join in the “la la la la la, la la la la la….”chorus. Next she launched into an exuberant rendition of “Your Song,” by Elton John. Fleurant graduated in June from the University of Rochester, where she majored in biology. She is now pursuing graduate studies in music.
Next Mackenzie McCarthy ‘22 took center stage to sing “From the Start,” by Laufey. She commented, “I love the laid back jazz feel of the piece and I especially love the bridge of the song because of the scatting.” Mackenzie is a sophomore at Montclair State University, where she is working toward a BFA in musical theater.
“My plans for the near future are to continue auditioning for performance opportunities whenever I can. I hope to be a working actress one day, whether that is in New York or anywhere else in the world. I would love to be on a national tour because I would get the opportunity to see parts of the country I have never explored. I cannot wait for my future but right now I’m focusing on getting my degree.”
Frankie Brandt ‘21, who studies at the University of Utah, bounded onto the auditorium stage for his first yoyo performance since the fall of his senior year at DS. Blasting an edited version of “Love$isk” by Mura Masa, Brandt swirled and twirled and spun his yoyo–and the crowd went wild.
“I am roughly 4 years retired from competing in professional yoyo and had already retired when I did my last DS community meeting performance in 2020, so it was definitely a lot of fun picking a yoyo back up and going through the whole process of creating a routine from scratch. I will add that when I was active in yoyoing I always had the most fun with my routines for Derryfield, whether it was for the talent show or a Community Meeting, so it was definitely a little reminiscent of those days.”
Each performance brought a standing ovation from the enthusiastic audience, who left the first community event of the new year in high spirits.