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  • January 21February 19: School Closed, Presidents Day

  • January 21January 27: Summer Opportunities Fair @ Whitfield

The Construction Function: A night Relatively Close to the STAR building

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The crowd the stage and listen to the student performances.

The crowd the stage and listen to the student performances.

Madison Cornwell

Madison Cornwell

The crowd the stage and listen to the student performances.

Dahlia Haddad, Reporter

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For those of you who have yet to attend this annual cozy concert, allow me to set the tone. You walk up to the normally trampled SpikeBall speckled quad, and rather than sprinting across it to make the assembly bell, you pop a squat. You’re kind of hungry so you grab some grub from the bake sale and as you return to your seat you hear a new song over the speakers that you like but don’t recognize. The cycle repeats until you get to the mandatory John Mayer section of the night, and then someone sings “Stitches” and then someone else sings that Sara Bareilles song that you know in a general sense but you can’t recall any of the words.
Finally a senior who has casually accompanied almost every performer of the night takes the stage and reminds you that being able to play an instrument is so much cooler than being able to water marble your nails. As the night wraps up, you create a new playlist comprising songs you have just fallen in love with, and then you go to google to try and type all the words to that darn Sara Bareilles song that you still can’t get your brain to remember.

Performers and supporting friends at Construction Function

Commons Cafe has long been a pillar of JBS fall. All grades and personalities take time out of their day to day doings and gift our community with a night of performance, which leaves most everyone sitting on the lawn with a genuine sense of community as they sit in awe of their peers. Occasionally, it leaves you simply wondering what the last song was because people sing super quietly, BUT, mostly the former.
I’ve been obsessed with Commons Cafe since I was in seventh grade. My love of live music is only amplified when it’s performed by people who I know, but people value the night for all sorts of reasons. The casual nature of the event has the potential to attract a broad range of people. Pheobe Sklansky ‘18 says that she loves “Commons Cafe because people who might not want to perform in assembly have an opportunity to showcase their talents.”
My hope is that the evening not only can bring people together but that it serves as a catalyst for someone teetering on the edge of public performance to take that next step in putting themselves out there. Abdullah’s mantra for this year was to “Be Your Best Self.” As a community, we can only ask our population to bring all of themselves and the best of themselves to our school if we afford opportunities in the ways that people express their best selves.
Commons Cafe epitomizes such opportunity. While assembly contains a formality that can be daunting, and the musical’s structure and selectivity can make it difficult for people to get involved, this special night when we come together as a school to celebrate one another, provides a platform for all of our best selves.

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