Asian Assembly: Not a Year to Miss

Kate Farmer, News Editor

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Yesterday evening, a beloved schoolwide tradition was preserved despite initial setback. Asian Assembly, hosted by MLWGS Club Asia, hosted a plethora of performances celebrating Asian culture, including musical numbers, dance routines, martial arts, and a jocular introductory video directed by 3 (self-labeled) “non-Asians”.

Although the event is traditionally an in-school assembly (per the name), the show was held at 4pm after school, due to the scheduling and booking conflicts discovered by the planners Kamya Sanjay (‘19) and Tara Ram Mohan (‘19). Nevertheless, as Dragons tend to do, they bounced back with jam-packed entertainment. A student spectator described to be “a vibrant evening”. All-in-all, the show lasted around an hour, with a audience estimated to be 150-200 students, parents, and faculty members.

Complementing the lively air of the performances were four senior MC’s, Joey Mistretta (‘19), Cole Mier (‘19), Ashton Longo (‘19) and Nikhil Chandravel (‘19), who as a group gave the Assembly its signature comedic flavor. Mistretta, enthused after the show, said, “Being part of Asian Assembly was both a great experience and a way to be part of Maggie Walker history. There’s so much talent happening up on that stage and to stand with such incredible performers as emcee was an honor. It was also a wild and crazy fun experience, from ad libbing jokes (which included Cole telling the entire audience about the time he pooped his pants) to making our entrance video.” Mistretta continued by naming Mier, his co-MC, as one of the show’s comical highlights. “Cole definitely deserves a special shoutout for producing and creating our entire hilarious entry video by himself,” added Mistretta. “It helped set the stage for what would be a one-of-a-kind and thrilling showcase of Asian culture.”

Yet the MCs could only hold a candle to the spectacular student performances, many of which had been prepared, practiced, and perfected for weeks in advance. It gave students the opportunity to showcase their talents, while granting them a new style and medium from which to do so. Emma Chun (‘20), who performed Lu Siqing’s Butterfly Lovers Concerto with friends Alyssa Wright (‘20) and Richard Zhai (‘20), especially appreciated this when reflecting on her experience as an Asian Assembly newbie: This was my first time performing in Asian Assembly and it was so much fun. It’s really cool to be able to showcase this style of music [as a student of Asian descent]. It was also awesome to see so many of my friends coming out to watch!”

For lighting designer and student spectator Alex Broening (‘20), one of the night’s standout performances was the K-pop dance routine, as well as Minji Cho’s (‘21) taekwondo rendition. Described Broening, “K-pop was super fun and exciting. From my perspective, the lighting and choreography blended incredibly well together and as a whole made a really exciting show. I also thought Minji Cho brought a fresh and dramatic take on martial arts, especially for a new performer.”

Yet, beyond all the festivities, the Assembly serves a higher purpose. The club’s wide array of participants demonstrates that Asian culture can be embraced and channelled through anyone, regardless of race or background. All it takes is a little heart (and maybe some dancing).

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