S!NG vs. FON— which do students prefer?

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S!NG, an annual school performance in which two teams of grades compete, was held in November, and Festival of Nations (FON), a display of international dances, began shortly before winter break. Both are very prominent productions within Townsend Harris, and both consist of features that distinguish them from each other, attracting some while turning away others. 

S!NG is a production that involves singing, dancing, acting, and art. Senior Ashley Facey, a S!NG dance director and a FON leader, explained that she prefers S!NG due to the effort and commitment necessary per member. She said, “S!NG creates closer bonds as students in specific departments spend more time together and all share a common goal. S!NG brought me closer to people I consider my closest friends today.” 

Senior Lucas Ayala, one of the S!NG vocal directors, added, “People are attracted to S!NG for the variety of talents as well as the competitive aspect.”

In terms of FON, many students enjoy the show due to its lack of competition in comparison to S!NG. junior Netanya Tsang, who only participates in FON, said, “I prefer the more relaxed atmosphere of FON…but the main aspect that attracted me [to it] was how you could choose which culture you wanted to dance [for] and not necessarily just your culture… you’re allowed to express yourself while meeting new people ranging from all grades.” 

“I like FON as it’s such an inclusive and wholesome experience,” added junior Stacey Roy. “At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter how good of a dancer you are, and everybody still has a really good bonding experience.” Ashley agreed in terms of FON’s inclusiveness. “FON is more welcoming of the entire student body. Although it’s centered around dance, you don’t have to consider yourself a dancer to join FON,” she explained. 

Ultimately, while S!NG is considered a competitive show, some value that aspect of it, alongside the effort that contributes to the final production. With FON, many cherish  its inclusive and welcoming atmosphere, as well as the range of cultures represented. Lucas concluded that “both events are excellent for students to meet new people, make friends, and try things they’ve never done before.”