Be sure to follow @theforestscout on Spotify for curated playlists by all of TFS’ authors.
Be sure to follow @theforestscout on Spotify for curated playlists by all of TFS’ authors.
This year’s boys volleyball team is coming off after a particularly tough season (11-24) a year ago, but are looking to bounce back. Featuring five returning starters, Joe Chamberlain, Jake Danneker, Kevin Lamp, Justin McCartney, and Kyle Waggoner, the now-veteran group is expecting a competitive year in NSC play and are hoping to make a formidable run into the playoffs.
“The whole team is very excited for this season,” said senior outside hitter Will Gescheidle. “The chemistry we have as a team is solid and that is extremely important for this sport.” Considering that so much of the returning team played with each other last season, junior outside hitter Kevin Lamp expects to “pick up where we left off” with ease.
Key players to look out for this year would include Joe Chamberlain and Kevin Lamp, both of whom have plenty of club experience; Kyle Waggoner, who his teammates expect to be a “force at the net”; and also junior Justin McCartney, who suffered an unfortunate season-ending injury last year and will return as a setter for the Scouts this season. Lastly, this 2018 season will mark Coach Pranke’s first year as an Assistant Varsity Coach, having coached the freshman a year ago. Coach Pranke will be bringing her experience in high school and college volleyball to this year’s varsity team.
In just under a month, Head Coach Steve Wolf and his experienced group will open the season at Highland Park on March 19 and then host Carmel on the 21st. Be sure to come out and support the team when conference play begins when the Scouts host Stevenson at home April 4.
Check out last year’s performance from the Swing Sonatas in the embedded video below.
In anticipation of this year’s talent show, which will take place from the February 22-24, I sat down with junior Katie Pierce to discuss her up-and-coming jazz band, the Swing Sonatas. From the trumpet to the vibraphone, and from volunteer gigs to the Lake Bluff Parade, this group of five LFHS musicians have been playing around town and are now ready to take their music to the talent show.
“It’ll be two years this April,” mentioned Pierce, the pianist amongst the group, “and we’ve really come a long way.” It all started with a drummer, a pianist, and a bass player, and in the Spring of 2016 it was, in her words, “tough for us to get going.” According to Pierce, the band would often borrow equipment from Lake Bluff Middle School, such as charts and sometimes equipment from the band director, and the band itself would only occasionally pull gigs from around town. However, when two seniors—Alex Banta and Matthew LeMay—joined the band about a year ago, things started to fall into place. From there, the Swing Sonatas began to play increasingly more volunteer events around the Lake Bluff-Lake Forest area. They’d go on to play at a LEAD benefit together, and even play in the Lake Bluff Parade that summer, which Katie remembers as a, “fantastic experience.” For the band, the Lake Bluff parade served as “a great bonding moment for [the band],” and, “was the last time we’d play as a sextet before our seniors graduated. Plus, we ended up playing really well, too.”
Flash forward just a little over a half of a year, and that enthusiastic group of five—including Katie Pierce, Charlotte Moore, Luke Gulson, Mark Smirnov, and Jonny Kilmer—have been preparing for their upcoming act in the talent show, having auditioned this past week. With ten minutes to set up and play, the Swing Sonatas performed a well-rehearsed “Four” by Miles Davis, and even threw in a variety of improv solos as well. A day later, Katie received an email saying validating their involvement in the show. Moreover, when asked, what’s next then for the band, Pierce promptly laid out the plan for the next three or so weeks. Starting with a week straight of rehearsing, and eventual playing, in a series of mock talent shows which will help the Swing Sonatas play, “within the context of the whole thing,” and to further get comfortable on the stage. Meanwhile, the band continues to juggle jazz band, pit orchestra, and preparations for the upcoming Jazz Fest.
To say that the Swing Sonatas are busy seems to be a bit of an understatement. However, it’s clear just in sitting down with Katie, one of the five band members, that there’s a passion for what they do, and they love where they’re at. “We honestly can grow so much in this genre,” says Katie. “Jazz is an American genre, and we hope to fill a spot in our own musical culture that is seemingly so missing right now.”
Be sure to check out the Swing Sonatas on the 22-24 as they share a bit of their own favorite music with the students of LFHS at the annual Talent Show.
DJ Felix, a professional disc jockey service hired by the Lake Forest Student Council, has organized a forum for students to request songs to be played at the upcoming turnabout dance this weekend. To request a song to be played on Saturday, visit the link below and add to the growing list of songs requested by LFHS students:
With the new year of 2018 having recently flipped LFHS’ calendar, the ever-growing dread of finals–especially at the midweek mark as students are becoming increasingly exhausted–is coming to a point. The more time students spend studying, the more students think to themselves how much different this time of year would be if we had only taken our final exams before break. While neighboring schools like Woodlands Academy and Mundelein High School have already taken their finals before break, it begs the question: Why haven’t we made the switch?
Well, for the freshman, sophomores, and juniors at LFHS, I have some good news. We have made the switch. This will be the last year that LFHS students will take finals after holiday break. In fact, starting next year Finals Week will be moved from January 16 to nearly a full month forward, landing on December 17 in 2019. This will ultimately leave students a full two weeks of break to unwind and relax.
While many, if not all, students are excited for next year’s finals schedule, those of us whose new year’s resolution was to procrastinate less, finals before break can still be a problem. For a lot of students, winter break provides a ton of time to catch up on work and prepare for our final exams. In year’s past, students would only have one week after break before finals, as opposed to two like we have had this year, which provided a nice buffer between holiday break and final exams. Student body VP and captain of the basketball team, Drew Arnson, had this to say about The Switch. “Personally, I think finals after winter break can be great. It gives us a full week or more after break to study.” He also added that, “if you are feeling concerned you can easily study over break,” and, for some students, school, he notes, “would be super cramped with other activities for most people before break.” Lastly, Arnson, who is well-versed in AP exams, seems most interested in the student feedback regarding the switch despite graduating before the new finals schedule will come into effect.
Alluding to a different perspective, sophomore Rylie Mills thinks that taking finals before break would, “help students get better grades on their finals, because if we were to take finals before break, all the information you’ve learned would be fresh in your mind.” Mills, like many students, finds the variety of information tough to recall in its entirety when we return from the extended holiday break.
Clearly, opinions on The Switch are varied among LFHS students. We will have to wait until students are able to experience both schedules to ultimately determine which is best suited for academic success.
For the first time in talent show history, this year’s show will have three emcees. A seemingly small detail at first glance. However, after sitting down to meet with Andrew Walther, Alex Ortiz, and Renee Ye, they aren’t too worried about the the small alteration from the norm. This quirky group of three is seemingly unfazed by the daunting task of putting themselves out there in front of their fellow classmates, an offer many students wouldn’t hesitate to turn down. To our emcees, it all seems to be about handling embarrassment.
“We’re definitely not afraid to embarrass ourselves,” said Renee Ye, who has been around theatre since sixth grade. “We’ve all grown a lot from freshman to senior year, and all three of us are very relaxed on stage because of it,” added Andrew Walther who, like Ye, has been around theatre through Tech and was a feature emcee his freshman year. Perhaps evident in the group’s motto, “Live fast, die young,” is the confidence and charisma that will have the audience laughing come February.
For now, however, we can expect that multiple scripts are being worked on, and lots of brainstorming on behalf of our future three emcees is being developed. In the three months until the show, Andrew, Alex, and Renee have hinted at releasing other promotional videos similar to their SNL inspired audition tape linked below.
In the scope of high school athletics, more often than not the biggest and most popular sports are what’s in focus. You’ll hear more about basketball and golf rather than badminton or flag football. However, last week, on November 4, the flag football team headed by four year veterans Cade Coughlin and Andrew Gough put themselves on the map. It was time to “saddle up,” recalls Cade, and that’s exactly what the intramural team of 15 members did. They spent that Saturday at Hallas Hall, the Chicago Bears headquarters and practice facility, and played five straight games in hopes of taking home a championship.
The state tournament was based around four teams, Lake Forest High School, St. Rita High School, Oak Park-River Forest High School, and a group of homeschooled kids that Couhglin says we’re “playing for a physical education credit.” The day started with a blowout against the homeschooled team, in which, according to Coughlin, the Scouts offense was “rolling.” From there the team played a close game against O.P.R.F, clearly the best team in the tournament. Fortunately for the Scouts, it was a late game defensive stand that propelled the team into their third game in the round-robin tournament. The last game of pool play was against St. Rita, a parochial school on Chicago’s southwest side, which the Scouts won by a convincing two touchdowns and also earned the Scouts flag football team a number one seed going into the playoffs.
With only two games separating the team and another championship, the Scouts switched gears, first cruising past the fourth seeded Homeschooled kids for a second time, and then mounting a huge second half comeback against Oak Park-River Forest in a rematch of last year’s championship to win it all. As one of the captains to this year’s team, Cade Coughlin attributes their success not only to the ability of their starting offense and defense, but to also the very supportive bench. He personally thanked the huge turnout of students that cheered them on. He encourages all who are interested in an intramural sport to consider flag football to help keep the tradition alive.
The team roster and coaching staff are listed below. Please join be in congratulating the very talented group that is the LFHS State Champion flag football team.
Mr. Fiordirosa and Mr. Mocogni
Frank Phillips *
Cade Coughlin *
Andrew Gough *
Captains are denoted with *
Porter Weisberg’s “Songs in a Life” column intends to express the story of people’s lives via an 11-song playlist. His second subject, Carter Horan, is a junior at LFHS. Follow @theforestscout on Spotify for all of the “Songs in a Life” features as well as playlists curated by our authors.
For the third edition of “Songs In a Life,” junior Carter Horan has hand-picked a selection of songs that not only represent his taste in music, but also call back to memory some of his earliest moments. Ranging from nap time in Kindergarten to Horan’s transition to high school, this “Songs in a Life” playlist covers the full scope of how music has influenced the junior basketball and baseball player.
Carter is typically the first guy to grab the AUX and seems to always have the right song for the moment.
“Not Afraid” Eminem
“‘Not Afraid'” was my favorite song during my 5-6th grade years and it really got me interested in hip-hop as a child. Eminem was the face of music during this time and I remember bumping this song rapping his verses perfectly.”
“Wagon Wheel” Darius Rucker
“I went through a short country phase at one point and this song reminds me of my summers as a middle schooler. I took a trip down to Georgia one summer and Darius Rucker’s”Wagon Wheel” is a classic remake of Old Crow Medicine Show’s song that takes me back to that trip.
“The Prayer” Travis Scott (not on Spotify)
This song is an old Travis Scott song from one of his first projects, Days before Rodeo. This got me into modern-day hip-hop with autotune and it will forever be one of my favorite songs by Cactus Jack.
“No Comparison” A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
“‘No Comparison'” is a regular I listen to on long car rides, a great hip-hop jam for those unaware of it.”
“No New Friends” Drake
“This song represents my transition in to freshman year from Lake Bluff to LFHS. At the time, I didn’t know a lot of Lake Forest kids and I was still trying to figure out myself. This song describes my time as a freshman with Drake’s claims about not making any new friends.”
“Heart of Gold” Neil Young
“‘Heart of Gold’ reminds me of my dad and his taste of music that he has carried on to me. I can recall times when my dad has taken the AUX from me to play songs by Neil Young, Shaggy, Social Distortion, and many other artists.”
“Apparently” J. Cole
“‘Apparently’ is just an all around feel good song with its upbeat style and flow. J. Cole is one of the best rappers of our generation and I remember listening to this album on replay in middle school.”
“No Faith in Brooklyn” Hoodie Allen
“Eli Fietsam showed me this song in middle school and I fell in love with Hoodie’s music during that time. Hoodie Allen wasn’t very popular during the time and I thought it was really cool to listen to an artist that wasn’t very well-known.”
“Upside Down” Jack Johnson
“This is a great, chill song my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Ellis, used to play during nap time. It was part of the Curious George movie soundtrack that she would play everyday in attempt to put us to sleep. I still listen to it today recalling my times lying on the carpet where I listened to it 11 years ago.”
“Rock You Like a Hurricane” Scorpions
“This song reminds me of my childhood going to Blackhawks games with my dad when the Hawks were terrible. They would play this song during the games and it flashes me back to the 2006-07 season.”
“The Sweet Escape” Gwen Stefani
“If you’ve ever heard this song, you know it’s amazing. This is what we would call a “cut,” the highest compliment for any song, on the sophomore baseball team last year.”
Porter Weisberg’s “Songs in a Life” column intends to express the story of people’s lives via an 11-song playlist. His second subject, Rafael Swerdlin, is a junior at LFHS. Follow @theforestscout on Spotify for all of the “Songs in a Life” features as well as playlists curated by our authors.
This weeks edition of “Songs in a Life” features Rafael Swerdlin, a junior music enthusiast. Whether he’s recommending albums to friends, finely tuning his own music, or sporadically writing songs, it’s clear Rafa has always been a fan of anything musical. His earliest memory comes from when Swerdlin was three or four: “I would always play drums and watch Rush documentaries with my dad.” Since then, music has continued to go hand-in-hand with many of Rafa’s memories growing up.
“Hahaha Pt. 2” Kishi Bashi
“I picked this track because my good friend, Seán Curran, and I have very different tastes in music. However, this song is one that intrigues us both. Especially, after he left LF to live across the world in Ireland.”
“Moonlight on the River” Mac Demarco
“This song is one of my favorite tracks on Mac Demarco’s album This Old Dog and it is tracks like this which helped cement his place as my overall favorite artist. It’s one of the songs I’ve been fortunate enough to see played live.”
“Cool with You” Her’s
This breezy track takes me back to last spring—when the album Her’s came out. I used to blast this song with my best friend since birth, Tomas, while we’d drive around in his hometown of Hyde Park in Chicago.”
“Pleasant Valley Sunday” The Monkees
“Here’s another track that brings back memories with my buddy Tomas. His dad would jokingly play it for us on the road while teasing me about how the lyrics represent a life in Lake Forest.”
“San Francisco” Foxygen
“I was obsessed with this song a couple of years ago. To me, it’s both a funny and catchy song by a great band. For weeks I couldn’t stop singing, “I left my love in San francisco. That’s ok I was born in LA.” I specifically remember listening to this song while coincidentally driving from San Fran to L.A.”
“Salad Days” Mac Demarco
“This is not one of my favorite Mac Demarco songs, but I chose to include it because it was the first song of his that I heard. I remember that at first I felt kind of neutral about his music. Little did I know then how much I’d grow to love his music. It’s a song that marks the beginning of an era.”
“Run Of The Mill” George Harrison
“I picked this song because despite discovering it recently, it feels as if it had been with me my whole life. For some reason the song emits a sense of nostalgia.”
“Lovely Rita” The Beatles
“Last year, I took a two week program at USC during the summer and I used to jam out to this song with my friend Evan so many times. In my opinion, it’s definitely an underrated song because it is on their Greatest Hits album, but is often overshadowed by the more popular tracks.”
“Surf’s Up” The Beach Boys
“This is my favorite song by The Beach Boys because I just find it so beautiful and pure. Don’t judge a song by the shallowness of its title.”
“Freedom Is Free” Chicano Batman
“Chicano Batman is a band that I’ve grown to fall in love with ever since my cousin told me about them. This song is one that I find particularly beautiful.”
“La Maza” Silvio Rodriguez
“This song, introduced to me by my Dad, is a beautifully crafted protest by the Cuban singer and songwriter Sylvio Rodriguez. Too bad Cuba was unable to reciprocate the beauty and structure of his music into their government.”
Porter Weisberg’s “Songs in a Life” column intends to express the story of people’s lives via an 11-song playlist. His first subject, Ms. Meaghan Laughlin, is an English Teacher at LFHS. Follow @theforestscout on Spotify for all of the “Songs in a Life” features as well as playlists curated by our authors.
Taste in music or any one person’s favorite songs vary and change as much as they do while growing up. Pick anyone from class or in the halls. Chances are, the music they listened to in 6th grade isn’t the same as the music they listen to now. That said, certain songs take us back to specific moments in time. It helps us to recall the feelings and sentiments that were present in life’s most important moments.
Highlighted in the first edition of “Songs in a Life” is Ms. Laughlin, who described herself as “someone that grew up with music always on at all times.” In this playlist, Ms. Laughlin shares a part of herself and her childhood through the music she remembers most at varying points in her life.
“Second Hand News”- Fleetwood Mac
“My mom first introduced me to Fleetwood Mac as a really young kid. They have always been one of my favorite bands, and so she passed that love on to me too. This song, in particular, is the first song on their Rumours album and one that I just absolutely love. It makes me think of my mom and driving around from practice to practice as a young kid.”
“Hound Dog”- Elvis Presley
“I have a very vivid memory of being a little girl and blasting this song in the car with my dad. My dad had just bought a new car and it had a sunroof, which to us was the coolest thing in the world. When we would pull off the main street and on to our little street in Northern California, my dad would slow down, open the sun roof, and allow me and my brothers to stick our heads out, like dogs, and belt this song out.”
“We Don’t Care”- Kanye West
“This song brings me right back to high school. At this point in our lives, when this song comes on at weddings of high school friends, it immediately transports us back in time and makes us feel like we are 17 again.”
“Wish You Were Here”- Pink Floyd
“I have always found this song to be sad and heart wrenchingly beautiful at the same time. There is just something about picturing goldfish swimming in a small fishbowl with no place to go that gets me every time.”
“Maggie May”- Rod Stewart
“In order to make cleaning up or doing after-dinner dishes fun, our parents would always blast music in the background. This song in particular is a family favorite and still makes doing dishes at least bearable.”
“Doo Wop (That Thing)”- Lauryn Hill
While all my friends were listening to the Spice Girls and Baby One More Time I received my first album by the name The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and was admittedly disappointed, at first. I had never heard of Lauryn Hill and figured it was some nobody my brother picked up from listening to the radio. I was strongly mistaken as Lauryn Hill helped foster of my love of hip-hop and boss ladies with messages of equality and empowerment.”
“All These Things That I’ve Done”- The Killers
“This song reminds me of some of my favorite things. One of my oldest and best friends, running, and Camp Hope.”
“I And Love And You”- The Avett Brothers
“A simple song of words overused but never underused when said by the people you truly love.”
“Bob Dylan’s Dream”- Bob Dylan
“One of my brothers has always been obsessed with Bob Dylan. My older brother introduced and continues to introduce me to music that I don’t think I would otherwise discover on my own. Music is something we have always shared with one another and this song will always remind me of him.”
“Golden Years”- David Bowie
When the inevitable feelings of homesickness set in my freshmen year of college, I was unlike many friends who could hop in a car or bus for a few hours and make it home. Coming home would involve a rather expensive plane ticket and that just wasn’t going to happen. In order to help quell those feelings of homesickness, my brothers surprised me and each burned a CD (this was before Spotify) of their favorite songs. This song is one that is an immediate mood booster and reminds me of my brothers.
“Oh, Tonight”- Josh Abbott Band ft. Kacey Musgraves
“Just love this song.”
Follow @theforestscout on Spotify for curated playlists from the authors.
For nearly five decades, Tom Petty’s everyman rock and roll–complete with unforgettable guitar riffs and his trademark nasally, nostalgic lyrics–was a voice that emulated American youth. Whether it was “with them Indiana boys on an Indiana night,” or “movin’ west down Ventura Boulevard,” Petty’s lyrics and musical prowess ignited alt-rock to center stage for good. One of the last true rock musicians still touring, Petty’s legacy will last long beyond his 66-year legacy behind the microphone with a guitar in hand. Listen below to a curated playlist of some of Petty’s greatest hits, including tracks with the Heartbreakers, Petty’s trusty band, or The Traveling Wilburys, one of the icon’s first musical acts.
Follow @theforestscout on Spotify for playlists curated by the authors.
This week’s playlist, curated by junior Porter Weisberg, features classics from Elton John, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and a variety of other past artists. “A Playlist for the Past” is great for fun car rides with friends and light study sessions. This compilation of familiar hits from yesteryear is sure to cheer anyone up.
Junior Porter Weisberg compiles a playlist consisting of the songs students would play if they had the opportunity to DJ the Homecoming Dance. From Billy Joel to the Rolling Stones to the Backstreet Boys to George Michael, this playlist has it all.
Records are undoubtedly on the rise. So much so, in fact, that million dollar spikes in sales and double digit percentage popularity growth have convinced huge brands like Sony Music to jump back into the not-so-distant pastime.
Which is surprising considering that in today’s musical landscape most high school students have their music on their phones and skip through custom made playlists before settling on a song rather than browsing a record collection. The time and thoughtfulness it takes to choose between an album’s A or B side and carefully place it on the record player has been phased out by digital music. But, for the first time in roughly three decades, more and more people are dusting off their turntables and setting the needle.
So why now is such a seemingly tedious way to enjoy music becoming so popular? Well, for the past six years vinyl revenues have been growing and are even predicted to continue to benefit from a seventh consecutive year of growth. The rise in record sales in the last decade truly began to pick up speed around the time that Spotify—one of the world’s largest music streaming services—launched in America in 2011. Whether coincidental or not, the shared rise in both physical records and digital playlists show that there is room for both mediums in the music industry.
Most record collecting is driven by its nostalgia. For many, hearing the crackle and pop of a favorite record spinning is enough to warrant a purchase. That aforementioned nostalgia is reflected in 2017’s top vinyl sales, as albums like Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles and David Bowie’s Legacy album—a collection of his greatest hits—both make appearances in the top ten. Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and Bob Marley and the Wailers’ compilation album, Legend, also make appearances. However, even among the classics, the new and latest releases from current bands share the Top 40 list as well. Ed Sheeran’s 2017 album, Divide, takes the number one spot, and the latest from Gorillaz and Arctic Monkeys are in the top 30 as well. All of these make up part of the 40 million records sold in 2017 and near $1 billion in revenue for the first time since 1981.
The next generation of vinyl enthusiasts and record collectors are clearly keeping the classics alive and well while also flooding the vinyl industry with new music. More common to vinyl than Spotify and iTunes is listening to an entire album. When you play a record, it’s more difficult to pick a specific single; there is no pause button and certainly no skip. If you let it, a record will keep playing until it has run out of songs, which explains why the most popular records are the ones that encourage a full listen. The Dark Side of the Moon is still so popular—after 44 years—because it’s widely considered one of the greatest concept albums. It’s an album that tells a story from start to finish. Similarly, the Gorillaz newest album Humanz—released in April of this year—was also designed to be listened to from the beginning to its end, with an intro and several interludes between songs, which explains why it reached the number 16th spot in the top records sold this year. Vinyl listeners often stick to what they know and love, while on Spotify users experiment. With playlists like their own Discover Weekly, and the ability share and collaborate on playlists with friends, finding new songs in unfamiliar genres is easier than ever before. That’s likely why we see both Spotify and vinyl popularity coexisting in the music industry throughout the past decade.
Oddly enough, the widespread access to all kinds of music has directly led to the rise in vinyl’s popularity. Spotify can support records sales by acting as a tool to find new artists and music you like, or, more aptly, music that you’d then buy on vinyl. Similarly, the same streaming services have also changed the way vinyl is distributed and advertised. Inspiring companies like Vinyl Me Please, the self-proclaimed “best damn record club” sends out one record every month to its subscribers, this month’s record being Ready to Die, the infamous compilation set forth by Notorious B.I.G.
Often what comes with a record is the most important difference for a lot of people when it comes to buying an album online or buying a physical edition. Physical albums often come with multiple records. Both Humanz and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band come with two records that contain the full album wrapped in a colorful package displaying the cover art entirely. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band alone comes with concise letters from individual members of the band, other artwork, and the backstory behind the album’s iconic cover image. This, for some, justifies the price tag and creates a more personal experience with the music.
Overall, in the wake of music’s big push to go digital the record craze seems to be more than just a fad, somehow combining the old and the new as the industry giants finds their own groove in each market.