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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Saratoga Teen Advisory Board hosts events for the teen community to enjoy

Han Yeung
A clarinet duo from Lynbrook High School gathers a crowd at the Teen Coffeehouse event.

The Saratoga Teen Advisory Board (TAB) held its biannual Teen Coffeehouse event on Nov. 17 in the Saratoga Library for the community to enjoy student music and dance performances. The community room was decorated with colorful balloons and autumn adornments. Complimentary snacks like instant noodles and hot cocoa lined a table near the back of the room. About 40 Saratoga residents were seated in the audience.

Established more than 10 years ago, the coffeehouse was a staple in Saratoga TAB activities for teens to have a comfortable space relaxing and performing. Junior Han Yeung, the showcase leader, coordinated this year’s event.  

Meticulous planning was undertaken by the showcase committee in the weeks leading up to the coffeehouse. Other TAB members reached out to performers and promoted the event within the community with posters, emails and advertisements on the library website. 

Performers included five teens performing different skills ranging from instrumental music to singing. 

Among these performers was Yeung’s own band, the Bullfrog Matadors, consisting of sophomore Marco Rocabado on drums, sophomore Gonzalo Fernandez da Ponte on bass, junior Andrae Wan as the lead guitarist and Yeung on rhythm guitar and vocals.

Members of the band put together a medley of tunes ranging from bossa nova to punk rock. Though they stuck to familiar music during this coffeehouse, they are hoping to compose original music for the next one.

“The atmosphere was lively and easy to perform in,” da Ponte said. “It was fun to share my love for music with friends and community members.”

Another performing musical group was Ophelium, composed of junior vocalists Melanie Lee and Diya Iyer, sophomore bassists Raymond Zheng and da Ponte, junior harpist Rebecca Bossow and sophomore Jeremy Huang on keys.

After forming the group in October, Lee said they wanted to have fun making music with people who share the same passion and inspire others to do the same. The coffeehouse was the first event they performed at.

“We were searching for venues to perform at and this was the most suitable one that came up,” Lee said. “The coffeehouse really was perfect because of the comfortable atmosphere; the performance went really well.”

To conclude the event, the audience and performers sang along to “American Pie,” a well-known traditional folk rock song composed by American singer Don McLean.

The coffeehouse is one of many events TAB is involved in. Committees in TAB that rotate in hosting events, Yeung said. 

The committees include Collaborative Events, Speaker Series and Showcase. The Collaborative Events Committee hosts events such as the annual Halloween movie night in the community room. The Speaker Series committee is in charge of Ted Talks and Saratoga Style (SED), where high schoolers, company cofounders and college professors speak about subjects ranging from career paths to life skills.

Since the Showcase Committee was in charge of the coffeehouse, they were responsible for presenting to the board leadership about progress and plans.

These events were successful in previous years because of advertisements and announcements posted on the Saratoga Library website.

Birgit Spring, a librarian at the Saratoga Library, has been instrumental to the TAB’s success as its advisor for over a decade. Though Spring tries to mostly stay out of the way so teens can learn to work independently, she contributes ideas and reminds the group of their mission: bringing the teen community together. 

“[Spring] reminds us that we’re not an adult Advisory Board, which is a defining aspect of our organization,” Yeung said. “Even though we’re involved with many topics, we always target teenagers, making these events easier to handle.”

With this goal in mind, the TAB plans to continue creating events that the teen community can enjoy.

“All the TAB events have the enthusiasm we’re going for,” Yeung said. “It’s rewarding since we always put so much work into it.”

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