South artists fill the halls with joy during Passin’ Time

by Molly Johnson, Features Editor, and Ethan Peller, Features Reporter
photo contributed by Eva Shimkus

First envisioned by photography teacher Bob Bouchal as a time for both students and teachers to roam the halls and enjoy live music, Passin’ Time has come a long way since its creation. 

Now, English teacher Alan Reinstein manages the tradition, which occurs one Lion block per term to provide a much needed in-school break to the South community.

Passin’ Time’s inclusive nature gives South’s bands a unique opportunity to perform in front of a live audience, Reinstein said

“It’s a great way for bands and performers to get low-stakes performance practice,” he said.

At a Passin’ Time in May, indie rock band Nervous Girls performed for their first time ever. Senior and bassist Hannah Namini said that Passin’ Time has been an easy way for her band to get experience in front of a live audience. 

“If you mess up, it’s whatever. But it’s still good to perform in front of an audience,” she said.

Freshman flutist Eli Scharf first performed at Passin’ Time in November. Though he’s played flute for six years, he said that at first, performing publicly was daunting. 

“I love creating music and if I can share what I practice and what I create with other people, I think that’s fun,” Scharf said. “I felt that more than the nerves of having everyone see me.”

Sophomore and guitarist Ezekiel Deveaux-Turner plays in a jazz rock band with freshmen Bennett Frost and Yasen Dimitrov. He said he participates in Passin’ Time to both experience performing publicly and to advertise his band.

“I want to expand my talent, get in front of stages, get used to that since I’m probably going to do it a lot more,” he said. 

Frost, a drummer in the band, said that the opportunity to perform lets him share his personality with the school community.

“[Passin’ Time] gives you a chance to show people what you’re passionate about, what you love to do,” he said.

Freshman vocalist David Rosemberg said that he hopes Passin’ Time will help him meet people in the South community. 

“Getting people to know me as someone who sings is more than having to go up to them. “I’m just excited to see people,” he said. 

Music serves as a form of stress relief for Rosemberg, and Passin’ Time has given him a chance to share that with his classmates. 

“Sometimes school gets tough and stressful, and I feel like singing and writing songs is sort of a way to put my own emotions into words,” he said.

English teacher David Weintraub regularly performs on the drums and guitar at Passin’ Time, in a band with other teachers. He said he enjoys being an audience member, too. 

“I just love seeing my students in that context, seeing how even if they may be quiet in class, they’re very loud when they get on the mic and you see different sides of their personalities,” he said. “[Passin’ Time] brings a lot of creativity and joy into the halls.”

Similarly, Namini said she enjoys seeing the variety in others’ acts.

“I remember a teacher a few years ago had brought in their own, traditional instruments, and it was really cool,” she said.

Rosemberg said that part of the importance of sharing music is the challenge for musicians to step out of their comfort zones.

“Maybe [Passin’ Time] was created to give a voice to the people who wanted to share their own music but were too scared or didn’t find the right opportunity,” he said.

Weintraub said he likes how Passin’ Time is unique to South. 

“What other school can you have abstract, noisy, synthesizer improvisations with psychedelic backing between math and history class?” he said. “[Passin’ Time] is so quirky and distinctive and just brings a lot of creativity and joy into the halls.”