“Trip”, “indescribable”, “epic”, “exciting”, “awesome”, “action-packed”, “community” and “spectacle” are all being used to describe the once-a-year event that is at the very heart of Gilmour tradition: Live Jive!
Live Jive is an annual, one-night-only event that allows students to share their talents and passions with the rest of the Gilmour community, and this year’s exhibition was one to remember.
PREP AND DEPTH FOR LIVE JIVE
Mr. Greenfield, an English and history instructor at Gilmour, serves as the executive coordinator for this event and began to take full responsibility for it in 2009. Live Jive is an event created 12 years ago by Mrs. Brubaker, who works in the student life department. Originally, Live Jive was performed in the Commons and was used as an outlet for her students to share poems they had written in class. Overtime, Live Jive has grown and changed from mostly poetry and little music to mostly music and little poetry.
Greenfield begins his preparations for the night at the beginning of the school year by working to recruit performers. He shares that it takes months to get the entire program solidified. In fact, it took two months alone to prepare the set list. Greenfield shares that Live Jive not only impacts the students, but him as well: “Its existential. It’s what I work for. It’s my job for me to help young people say ‘This is me, this is who I am and I am expressing myself’. That’s ultimately why I do what I do and it’s very validating for me just to be in the back and cheer for them and all that.”
AN UNEXPECTED JOLT TO THE JIVE
Live Jive was scheduled to take place in the evening on Friday, April 7th for the 2016-2017 school year. However, due to a snow storm that occurred in the early morning on April 7, a tree fell on one of Gilmour’s main power lines that caused a campus-wide power outage. This lack of power provided a need for Live Jive to be rescheduled to Wednesday, April 12th, immediately after school.
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
Many have asked why the new date for the event was scheduled to then rather than a more convenient date. Greenfield shares that he and his co-producers considered every date possible and that was the only day that worked best for everyone. Although many of the acts were unable to perform at the actual event due to this sudden and unexpected change, Greenfield will be showcasing them during Convocation in the coming weeks. In this case, the entire student body will play the role of the audience. In addition to this, Greenfield shares that the entire event was recorded and will be sent to all parents, teachers and performers that were unable to attend the event.
NOT ENOUGH ROOM FOR THE MOVES
While all of the other acts still have the opportunity to perform, Greenfield shared that his one regret was Live Jive losing its only dance piece due to the power outage. Usually, Live Jive is held in the Field House of the Athletic Center. However, because of scheduling compromises, this year’s event was held in the Middle School Assembly Rooms, which did not provide Lily Switka (`18) with enough room for her act. Lily had been practicing her act for about a month prior to the show. She said, “I’m bummed that I didn’t get to perform because I was really looking forward to it. I will definitely be performing next year, and I’m already looking forward to knocking some socks off!”
SEVENTH GRADERS JOIN THE JIVE
Greenfield tells The Lance that, for the first time ever, various seventh graders performed in this event that historically has been dominated by upper school students. Eve Pahoresky (`22) performed with fellow seventh graders and her sister Rebecca Pahoresky (`19). They practiced their act for four months. Eve Pahoresky said, “I think it is odd my friends and I are the first [seventh graders to perform], but I know we won’t be the last!”
Rebecca Pahoresky said, “Just like how people show off their talents on basketball or tennis courts, this is the kind of talent show just for people who have talents that are not shown off as much, but are still relevant.”
WHO WAS LIVE AT THE JIVE
THE BETTER KNOWN
Connor Gerspacher (`19) and Elizabeth Espenschied (`19) performed alongside Luke Shepherd (`19) and Chris Lamosek (`19) in their band, The Better Known. Prior to the show, Gerspacher said, “We make sure to always keep a wide range of songs that each bandmate chooses and is able to enjoy. This year, our theme will be more focused on rock music.” He shared that his first time performing at Live Jive was incredible, and is one of his favorite experiences that he enjoys retelling. “I want people to know the rest of me,” Gerspacher said, after commenting on Live Jive’s ability to let him express himself outside of class.
In addition to performing with The Better Known, Espenschied shared her love of DJing with the Gilmour community once again this year. She “scratched”, “backspinned”, and surprised the audience with a rap for her solo performance. Espenschied commented, “Live Jive is all about fun–not proving something. I feel inspired to perform after seeing someone else perform, and even if I don’t love the performance itself, I appreciate that the person has been able to share what they love and invite me into that.”
Similar to Espenschied, Luke Shepherd (`19) performed an additional act as well. Shepherd is a member of Gilmour’s Pops Ensemble and plays the drums both in The Better Known and the school’s version of band. During the event, he performed the opening number with the Pops Ensemble to “warm up the crowd.” Shepherd said, “[Pops Ensemble is] very taxing, but rewarding. It is a very good all around experience that helps me to further my musical talents.”
THE DIPIERRO DUO
Grace DiPierro (`18) also performed last Wednesday when she sang “Yesterday” by the Beatles, alongside her sister, Sophia (`19), who played the guitar. DiPierro chose this song because of her love of the Beatles, who she believes to be influential, unique and honest. DiPierro said, “It is really inspiring when you can see how much heart and soul people put into things; this is what really makes Live Jive a success.” She continues, “It is important to express yourself and your talents because you deserve to be acknowledged for the things you are good at.”
UNTIL NEXT YEAR
“I just love that energy. It makes all the other hours worth it. I love that feeling at the end of the night when its like ‘We did it. It Happened!’” Greenfield said. “The Live Jive ‘jive’ is one that is very open arms; you’re always going to get a “woo” and a massive applause, and as a performer that’s what you love: to be in the spotlight and to get that type of recognition for these skills that, honestly, you’re not going to know about in a classroom.”