Guitar Night Strums Again


Sofia Barassi

Joe Messina is featured in this banner advertising Guitar Night. All around the school, banners were put up to let people know about the show in May. “Nothing compares to what I feel on stage with the music blaring and the crowd in front of me. To say I’m excited about this Guitar Night is a grand understatement,” said Messina.

Sofia Barassi, Assistant Sports Writer

On May 4 and May 5, Hollis Brookline will host the very popular Guitar Night in the auditorium at 7pm.

Guitar night is, arguably, one of Hollis Brookline High School’s most anticipated and popular events. Hundreds of family members, friends, and teachers come to the auditorium to watch and support HB’s talented students and faculty singing and playing instruments on stage.Joe Messina ‘19, a returning performer, is ready to hit the stage for another round of the fun. “My favorite part of performing has to be the rush. Just being up there and knowing everybody is watching every move you make is incredible. You feel so in control,” says Messina. Messina performed at his first Guitar Night in December of 2017 and was very well received by the crowd.

One of HB’s most beloved teachers, Lin Illingworth, also known as Ms. I, is performing for her first time at Guitar Night this spring, and is inspired by her father’s passing. Her brother, Mark Illingworth, who started Guitar Night and runs the show every year, will be right by her side as it is his last show before retiring. “We will be performing Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye by Cole Porter,” said Ms. I. “It’s a way of us saying hello and thank you [to our father].” This tribute will be very special for the two.

This spring, HB is inviting alumni to join in on the fun, making this the most special one yet.

Many students who have graduated carry incredible talents with them and are bringing the energy back to where they grew up. Vanessa Hale ‘16, a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, is treating us to an amazing show with her beautiful singing talent. She performed for the first time in 2014, as a sophomore here at HB, and the opportunities she has been given at Guitar Night have provided her with many talents. I learned so much by participating in Guitar Night. I truly expanded as an artist, and gained confidence in my abilities as a performer, says Hale. The opportunities that Guitar Night provides for all participants are endless. “Guitar Night is amazing because it gives students who may or may not have experience performing an opportunity to present their art to their community,” she stated. For Hale, her experiences at Guitar Night are the reason why she is studying music at such a prestigious music school. “I found confidence that I never had, and I owe all of that to the space Mr. I has created through Guitar Night,” said Hale.

Guitar Night is a way for the local musical community to mesh their talents that may otherwise be hidden behind a band room door or in a choir hallway, and flood the auditorium with talent and dedication. “I love the feeling of being able to express by emotions through my music and my voice in any way I’d like,” said Messina. The showcase of talent and the collaboration of the community opens up new doors for so many people of all age groups. “It brings together students of all peer groups, backgrounds and grades, allowing them to interact in a different way. Music is powerful and Guitar Night is so incredible,” says Hale.

There are many enticing songs that will be performed this spring by our talented musicians. “I am performing many songs, but probably the ones I’m most excited for are The Chain by Fleetwood Mac, Dream On by Aerosmith and November Rain by Guns N Roses with Vanessa Hale,” said Messina. “November Rain will be incredible; we plan on bringing in all the fixings to make it an incredible experience,” he added. Some exciting performances are yet to come, and, with our teachers taking the stage and “completing the dare [to perform]”, says Ms. I, this show will go down in history. Even students who do not perform at this event, but love being in the rockin’ atmosphere, are enthusiastic about the spectacle. “Guitar Night is a great night. Lots of laughs, lots of fun, lots of music,” said Scott Anneser ‘19.

Join us in the auditorium for a night to remember on May 4 and May 5 at 7pm.