Ethan Heyboer’s fingers furiously fly across the fingerboard of his cello. A crowd of people begin to gather around as he and his brother crank away to the chorus of Guns N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle.” The crowd is in for a serious treat. Not only are the Heyboer brothers excellent cellists, but the concert is essentially free. The performance is one of many in Downtown Holland’s Street Performers series, which occurs every Thursday from June 9 to August 25. The Heyboers are one of a few WO groups participating in Street Performers this summer.
Jr. Kaylie McConnell is one of WO’s finest violinists and will be showcasing her talent for the fifth year in a row this summer. Kaylie first applied to Street Performers the summer before her 8th grade year to raise money for the school Washington, DC trip. Because she enjoyed the experience so much, she continued to play downtown after her 8th grade year. McConnell particularly likes seeing reactions to her music. “It’s really fun when little kids come up to me and start dancing to my music. Sometimes even adults will dance. [I like] seeing everyone smiling and have a good time.” McConnell plays mostly pop music, but also busts out some fiddle and classical music to please all audiences. She will be sharing her talent on 6/9, 6/23, 7/7, 7/21, 8/4, 8/11, 8/18, and 8/25.
Sr. Ethan Heyboer and his brother Matthew, a WO alumni, will perform a cello duet this summer for their second consecutive year. They have been playing as a duet for only two years, but have both played cello for much longer. In nearly all of his time at WO, Ethan was the top cello player in the Chamber Orchestra. Ethan particularly enjoys interacting with the audience during his time street performing. “I’ve met multiple people who have never heard cello, or who used to play but quit, or who just started playing and were inspired by our playing. It’s just really cool to see how our music can affect the lives of others.” The majority of music played by Cello Duetto is rock and pop. Catch them downtown on 6/16 and 8/11.
La Bella Vita
La Bella Vita is a singing group that consists of Jr. Anna Smyk, Jr. Grace Scheerhorn, Jr. Kaitlyn Pilarski, and Jr. Denali Mokris. The name of their group translates to “The Beautiful Life” and this will be their third year singing together. Smyk participates in Chamber Orchestra and the rest of the members participate in choir. On her past experiences singing downtown, Pilarski said, “It’s just a really cool experience to see people happy and having fun because of us… The people there are always so nice and encouraging.” The group sings classical choral songs along with old and new pop music. They will appear downtown on 8/4, 8/18, and 8/25.
The Oxford Commas
The Oxford Commas will play their second season of Street Performers this year. They are a string trio that includes violinist Jr. Mitchell Frauenheim, cellist Sr. Colton Hook, and guitarist Sr. Zachary Snoek. Each of them participate in Chamber Orchestra. The Commas got their start at Street Performers last year, but have since played at multiple venues including WOStock and Senior Oscar Night. Downtown Holland continues to be the band’s favorite venue, however. “It’s a laid back environment and it’s fun to be able to play outdoors in the beautiful weather. It’s great to get tips too,” Snoek said. The group focuses on covering mainstream pop music. See them on 6/16, 7/21, 8/4, 8/18, and 8/25.
The Street Performers series is a great place to see some outstanding musical talent from WO. Also featured at Street Performers are circus performers, face painters, magicians, and more. Performances run from noon to 8:30pm, with different performers for each two hour time slot. Be sure to pay a visit to Downtown Holland on Thursdays this summer for some superb entertainment.