A Night to Remember: Grotonstock on the Circle

Courtesy+of+Chloe+Zheng+%2723

Courtesy of Chloe Zheng ’23

On Saturday, May 22nd, all came to a quiet settle on the Circle, where a socially distanced Grotonstock, complete with outdoor speakers and a pitched tent as a stage, was organized. Students promptly gathered in front of the tent, bringing along blankets and inflatables to snuggle up on during performances. As the sun set, Groton students were able to experience a diverse variety of acts, from spoken word poetry and songs to medleys of rap and jazz. 

There were several memorable acts, from Andrej Klema ’21 rapping and singing an original song about the progression of his years at Groton to the iconic Two Gingers and a Bea band, comprised of seniors Tai Campbell ’21, Bea Agbi ’21, and Luke Benedict ’21. There were outstanding solos too, such as Lauren Clark ’23 on the guitar singing “Selfish” by Madison Beer, as well as an energetic four-man show in which seniors Wilson Thors ’21, Spencer Miller ’21, Russell Thorndike ’21, and Kate Clark ’21 impressed with their rendition of Billy Joel’s “Vienna.” 

Grotonstock proved to be an open and safe space not just for musical talent, but also for raw vulnerability, as Hannah Wise ’21 performed a powerful spoken-word poem dedicated to her late classmate Jane Harrell. It also posed an opportunity for students to showcase students’ cultural backgrounds, as Ben Reyes ’23, accompanied by Griffin Elliot ’22 on the piano, assumed a captivating interpretation of the Filipino song “Dahil Sa’yo” by Mike Velarde, blending elements of the saxophone and piano to lyrically express formal Tagalog love poetry. 

“It was very nice and somewhat nostalgic to perform and watch, because it reminded me a lot of last year’s Open Mics. This Grotonstock allowed me to feel some sense of normalcy within this year for the first time in a while,” said Will Vrattos ’23, who sung “If The World Was Ending” with Elizabeth Wolfram ’23. 

Upon the culmination of Grotonstock also came the announcement of the new Open Mic heads, in which current heads Jane Park ’21 and Anna Pimentel ’21 passed the torch to Creed Bellamy ’22 and Griffin Elliot ’22. “The Open Mic has always been important to me at Groton and I’m looking forward to leading it with Creed,” said Griffin.

A testament to the durability and support of the Groton community, students and faculty came together to enjoy student musicians and their hard work. The tradition of Grotonstock represents a hopeful nod to transitioning back to how things were before the pandemic. As for how Open Mic and Grotonstock will work next year is still unclear; however, this Grotonstock was a step forward in the right direction. Although next year is unpredictable, Groton and its ardent student body will continue to make the best of its circumstances.