High school students all across Irvine gathered for a memorable night of talent on Dec. 7 at the 13th annual Akustikoff hosted by the Youth Action Team (YAT), where acoustic artists competed for the grand prize of a professional recording session at Hybrid Studios.
The event, held at 6:30 p.m. in the Heritage Park Community Center, featured 20 groups from six high schools with proceeds from the event going to the American Cancer Foundation.
Representing Northwood, juniors Shounok Ghosh (vocal), Joanna Zhang (vocal) and their accompanying guitarist performed “Happy Now” by Zedd and Elle Duhé, as well as “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran.
The trio had already performed “Perfect” at last year’s choir banquet, and decided to add “Happy Now” to their set because it fit the range of both singers and only needed acoustic guitar.
“I think our set list showed off all of our skills.” Zhang said. “Plus, I think that the songs were well-known enough to get everyone excited.”
In addition to the music, Audience members enjoyed the variety of snacks baked by volunteers and the overall ambiance of the event. Aside from the main performances, the event also had acapella groups perform in a separate prize pool.
“It was so cool to see super talented musicians from every school in Irvine,” junior Leah Kong said. “As someone who had never really seen other schools’ musicians, it was a really eye-opening experience.”
Although they did not win the grand prize, the group will cherish the memories made and the lessons learned from the incredible experience performing at Akustikoff provided.
“For us, the event wasn’t about winning, but instead we focused on sharing our love of music with the audience,” Ghosh said. “We are looking forward to sharing even more music together in the near future.”