On September 6th, the 250th day of 2016, over 600 students, parents, faculty, and alumni gathered at the State Theatre in New Brunswick to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Rutgers Prep. The celebration was full of laughter, joy, and of course talent.
The show kicked off first with an inspirational speech from our headmaster, Dr. Loy. Then, a slideshow of pictures taken by art department chair, Scot Wittman ’86 was played. It was a collection of beautiful photographs that fully represent Rutgers Prep. While the photos were shown, students Jake Zhang ’17 played the guitar and sang “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz with Bekah Park ’17 sang and after, Gita Ganti ’17 played guitar and sang “Something To Believe In” by Parachute. Their voices and playing wowed the audience as they saw the amazing photos of Rutgers Prep.
After the seniors’ performances, Rutgers prep alum, Ronobir Lahiri, class of 1990, took the stage. After graduating from Yale University, Lahiri starred in a production of the King and I before moving to Los Angeles. In L.A, he has worked on several music scores and has also been on sitar player on albums from artists such as Katy Perry and Ziggy Marley. At the 250 Celebration, Lahiri wowed the audience with his sitar playing and his ability to overlay traditional Indian ragas onto current pop and dance music. Some of the songs he performed included “One Dance” by Drake and “Work” by Rihanna.
After a brief intermission, Rutgers prep graduate, Amy Vachal, class of 2007, performed as well. The Swarthmore alum turned her energy toward music after an injury cut her lacrosse days short. Vachal showcased her singing talent across the country as a member of Team Adam on season 9 of NBC’s The Voice and ended up being a semi-finalist on the show. Since The Voice, Vachal has been on a tour across the country with her band and decided to perform for her old community. She impressed the audience not only with her voice but also with her original songs and with her band. Vachal also treated the audience to a rendition of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” the song she sang in her audition for The Voice.
As a finale, Vachal brought back Ronobir Lahiri and invited Dr. Loy on stage to sing a cover of The Band’s classic 1968 hit “The Weight” Their wonderful version of the song was the perfect way to end a great night and really represented how close the Rutgers prep community truly is.