Happening Now
  • October 3Jazz Concert Oct. 6 at 6:00 p.m.
  • October 3Dance Senior Showcase Oct. 6 at 6:00 p.m.
  • October 2Vocal Concert Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m.
  • October 2Band Concert on Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401


Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401


Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts | 501 S. Sapodilla Ave, WPB, FL 33401


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An audience member sits on another patron’s shoulders watching Jack Johnsen perform his song “Banana Pancakes” at the 2023 Sunfest Music Festival. Johnsen performed on May 6, the second day of the event.
Song to Soul
September 24, 2023

“The Last Hoorah”

Seniors gather for one last celebration of their high school career
Lexi Critchett
Band senior Autumn Wong waves as she walks into the Senior Banquet.

There are seniors in the class of 2021 who have not been to school since last March. The last time all of them spent the whole year in-person, they were sophomores. 

On Saturday, May 8, seniors celebrated their last weeks of high school with a banquet to reunite with friends, commemorate peers, and gain a sense of normalcy.

“It is so important for seniors to get some of what they have missed out on,” Principal Blake Bennett said. “They’ve missed so much … You go to school for 13 years, and then you have a pandemic in your last year, so it is so important to be able to celebrate and honor them.”

Theatre senior Emilia Allmacher tightly hugs her friend.

Seniors came to the student parking lot dressed in traditional prom attire. A white tent decked out with sphere light fixtures and neon spotlights stood in the parking lot. Seniors ran to embrace their friends, some of whom they had not seen in over a year. 

“It’s exciting to see everyone after not being with them for so long,” communications senior Katherine Oung said. “It feels so surreal to be able to hug everyone. I’m glad that we have this one night that we can remember to commemorate the year.” 

Sixty-two tables were set up in four rows in the student parking lot, adorned with white tablecloths and electric candles. Seniors selected their seating arrangements prior to the event, with four seniors per table, and 231 students signing up. SGA and class council volunteers helped set up, along with parents and teachers. 

Theatre seniors Cooper Musser, Hannah Gardner, Miranda Sampaio de Faria, and Alexa Rubenstein laugh at their table.

“It turned out great, better than I expected,” digital senior Milan Tangirala said. “We didn’t have a tape measure, so we had to measure if the parking lot was going to be big enough. I counted my steps and walked around the whole thing.”

As events throughout the pandemic struggled to get district approval, the senior class council, along with senior class council sponsor Sarah Ray, felt something had to be done.

“I went to senior class council and Mrs. Ray, and they said ‘We want something as close to a prom as possible,’” Principal Bennett said. “I felt like it was our responsibility to give something that was approved, and I think it turned out better than I had imagined.”

While students enjoyed their dinner, Ms. Bennett presented awards to seniors who were in the top 20 in their class or had been nominated for Pathfinder or National Merit Scholarships. Every award that was presented was met with tumultuous applause. 

Vocal senior Hope Sears receives the Pathfinder award for Vocal achievement from Principal Blake Bennett.

“I felt incredibly honored and blessed to have received this award in front of my peers,” vocal senior Hope Sears, the Dreyfoos Pathfinder nominee for the vocal category, said. “ I felt such gratitude and warmth from everyone cheering as I walked up and I’ll always remember that special moment.” 

As a surprise to event attendees, comedy hypnotist Doug McGraw called volunteers to the stage to be hypnotized. The snapping of his fingers and music bellowing throughout the tent brought some seniors to a new state of consciousness.

“I was curious to find out if the hypnosis would work or if it was a myth,” communications senior Shelby Godfrey said, accounting her eagerness to volunteer to be hypnotized. “It was really interesting. It felt like a deep meditation. … I felt calm and my mind felt at ease.”

The hypnotist adjusts vocal senior Arman Khoshbin’s arm as he attempts to relax.

As the banquet came to a close, seniors exchanged hugs and smiles. This was the first event in over a year where the entire class got to be together without the stress of exams and graduation, which gave them a chance to enjoy the moment and each other. 

“I think it’s a big deal because a lot of our opportunities for senior stuff has been taken away,” theatre senior Gianna Romano-Hall said. “We all cherish this a lot more than we would if Covid had never happened. It’s the last hoorah.”

Communications senior Rayne Ramlal holds her friend.
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Bridget Frawley, Editor In Chief
Bridget Frawley is a third-year staffer and co-editor-in-chief on The Muse. When she is not writing stories of her own, Bridget is working with the staff to build connections and ensure all voices are represented through diverse coverage that stretches across platforms. Outside of the publication room, Bridget can be found reading classics, being with her cat, or browsing local bookstores.
Jenna Lee, Print Managing Editor
Jenna Lee is a third-year staffer and print managing editor on The Muse. Apart from working on the publication, Jenna also competes in Public Forum debate on the Dreyfoos Speech and Debate Team, serves as the co-president of A.R.T.S. Club, and writes for the local magazine South Florida Insider. When she is not drowning in homework, Jenna likes to read books like Song of Achilles and watch her comfort shows. Jenna is extremely passionate about doing good journalism and telling the stories most important to our community.
Kate Wagner, Content Team Editor
Kate Wagner is a second-year staffer and content team editor on The Muse. She is also a part of SGA, the Speech and Debate team, Film Association, and Little Smiles. Kate is very excited for the upcoming year on The Muse and can't wait to work with her team to produce the best content possible!
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