Urging the audience to snap along, piano seniors Joshua Lumaban and Arthur Schofield play a song inspired by the movie “Monsters Inc.” During their piece, they drew the audience in as they switched spots and ran around each other throughout the song. “I haven’t played a duet with AJ since last year,” Lumaban said. “We chose the piece because we watched a YouTube video and actually really liked what the YouTube video showed us.” (Sofia Hennessey-Correa)
Urging the audience to snap along, piano seniors Joshua Lumaban and Arthur Schofield play a song inspired by the movie “Monsters Inc.” During their piece, they drew the audience in as they switched spots and ran around each other throughout the song. “I haven’t played a duet with AJ since last year,” Lumaban said. “We chose the piece because we watched a YouTube video and actually really liked what the YouTube video showed us.”

Sofia Hennessey-Correa

Playing At An Impromptu Ianpromptu

Impromptu showcases student renditions of music ranging from Disney songs to video game soundtracks

At Ianpromptu, also known as XImpromptu, or Impromptu, rhythms played on piano keys are not just the melodies of renowned classical composers. The performers’ usual attire of suits and gowns are replaced by costumes and new outfits. Instead, the tunes of Billy Joel and anime soundtracks fill the Brandt Black Box theater. Piano seniors Josh Lumaban and Arthur Schofield, both dressed in Mike and Sully onesies, lead audience members to clap in unison to the “Monsters Inc.” theme.

Performing “Arabian Nights” in a trio with Lumaban and strings senior Sofia Plaza, strings junior Elias Aquel-Lacayo focuses on sheet music. Certain strings and band majors performed in Impromptu and could be in a duet or ensemble with another piano major.
(Sofia Hennessey-Correa)

For the past twelve years, the annual Impromptu concert has provided piano students with the opportunity to perform a piece of their choice and collaborate with other students in composition and on stage. 

“I think it’s the most casual and the most student-driven recital of the year,” piano junior Jacob Liu said. “This is the one where the kids play pieces for stuff they’re passionate (about) and interested in.” 

Strumming along to a piano solo, piano junior Andre Bencosme nods to “Movin’ Out” by Billy Joel. This was the third Billy Joel song of the performance, following “Piano Man” and a medley.
(Sofia Hennessey-Correa)

Impromptu’s original opening night and some preceding rehearsals were canceled due to Hurricane Ian. After reworking the schedule, on Friday, Sept. 30, Impromptu opened to a full house. Each row in the black box theater was crowded with family, friends, and other students. For piano freshman Nicholas Stan, this was a new experience, having to adjust to a duet with piano freshman Simon Lin and his first performance on campus.

“I was nervous, but it was great to perform in a different environment for the first time and to be welcomed by all the other seniors, juniors, and sophomores,” Stan said. “Here, you have much more freedom. The magic of Impromptu is it lets you play whatever you want in comparison (to other concerts).”

Picking up her papers after her performance of “Howl’s Moving Castle,” piano sophomore Josetta Wang smiles at her partner. One of the two duets she performed that evening, Wang played with her friend, strings sophomore Mia Hakkarainen. “It is always more fun when Impromptu is an experience you can share with others,” Wang said. “Of course, performing in front of the packed blackbox theater in front of friends and family can be nerve wracking, but by the end, you just feel so happy and pumped for the next night’s performance.”
(Sofia Hennessey-Correa)

For theatre senior Devyn Humble, it was her first time handling the lighting technology in the black box theater. Humble took requests from each performer before the show. Initially, Humble was going to be briefed on the technology a few days before the concert, but due to cancellations, Humble had to learn the system hours before Impromptu’s opening, leading it to be “a bit stressful.” 

“I love watching our band performances,” Humble said. “They’re very talented, and it’s very impressive because I do not have that coordination, so watching other people have the coordination and appreciating it is nice.”

Wearing a Mario backpack, piano senior Nicholas Correa-Perez plays “Luma – Super Mario Galaxy” on the keyboard.
(Sofia Hennessey-Correa)
Strings senior Hanalei Ritter passes her bow along the strings as she performs music from “The Phantom of the Opera.”
(Sofia Hennessey-Correa)

The concert was “bittersweet” for some piano seniors and their families since this might be the last Impromptu performance they will attend.

“It was definitely emotional, not just for her (my daughter), but for the whole group because they have been so tight since middle school,” Raija Kilpinen, piano senior Lilli Theisen’s parent, said. “We’re gonna miss it because it’s such a nice, relaxed, and fun atmosphere, so I feel jealous of the other families that get to enjoy this for a few more years.”

Performers from the Impromptu concert take a bow while a jazz ensemble plays “Great Balls of Fire” in the background to close the show. Following the song’s sing-along, the students were greeted with hollering and an audience’s standing ovation.
(Sofia Hennessey-Correa)

As each new grade of performers puts their own spin on Impromptu, one thing remains constant over the years: the personal expression of each performer.

“I would say to all the first-time performers, just enjoy your time there,” piano junior David Nguyen said. “At my first (in-person performance), I definitely was a little nervous. After I played, all that stress disappeared.”

Sofia Hennessey-Correa
Donate to THE MUSE
$215
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

About the Contributors
Photo of Jeremiah Alondra
Jeremiah Alondra, Copy Staffer

Jeremiah Alondra is a first-year staffer and copy staffer on The Muse. A fervent debater, an aspiring cultural anthropologist, and a self-proclaimed "foodie,"...

Photo of Sofia Hennessey-Correa
Sofia Hennessey-Correa, Photo Editor

Sofia Hennessey-Correa is a second-year staffer and photo editor on The Muse. Outside of journalism, you may find her humming songs to herself, practicing...

THE MUSE • Copyright 2022 • FLEX WordPress Theme by SNOLog in

Donate to THE MUSE
$215
$2000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

Posting under a pseudonym is not permitted. Online comments that are found in violation of the editorial policy will be removed as quickly as possible.
All THE MUSE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *