Students Light Up the Auditorium During the Chilean Exchange Students’ Performance

Eva Williams, Staff Reporter

George Mason students were told very little about the September 11 Wild Horse Wednesday presentation. They struggled to find seats in the crowded auditorium, as whispers of excitement and mystery filled the air, along with the usual groans since the students were missing out on part of their Mustang Block.

Chilean exchange students, visiting from Trewhela’s School in Santiago, Chile, walked on stage to perform, and a hush fell over the crowd. 

The students’ presentation began with four students performing the traditional Chilean dance, Cueca. Next, the mood quickly shifted when an upbeat tempo boomed from the loudspeakers. Around ten students surrounded microphones and began singing along to a popular Chilean track. Audience members bopped their heads along.

The short presentation gave Mason students a glimpse into the Chileans’ culture.

 “I think it definitely gave everyone a different perspective about their culture and how there are many similarities and differences between our culture and theirs,” sophomore Annie Moore said. 

“I thought it was really cool to see what music they listened to and a bit of their culture,” junior Siri Grund said.

For the final act, one student, Alonso Alarcón, performed alone. He began strumming “Karma Police” by Radiohead on his guitar. As he entered the chorus of the song, members of the audience turned their flashlights on and waved their phones peacefully in the air. The auditorium shone down on Alarcón. 

“They had so much talent and I’m glad that they were able to share it with the school,” sophomore Coral Rankin said.

The Chilean students returned to Chile today, ending their two-week stay in Falls Church, Virginia. Unfortunately, the exchange will most likely not take place again due to difficulties in planning with a third party company, ending the 15-year relationship with Trewhela’s. 

“We have yet to find an organization who is willing and able to set these home-stays up for us,” Spanish teacher Señora Larisch said. 

Sra. Larisch said the exchange has always been an enriching experience for students from both Trewhela’s School and George Mason.

The effect on Mason students has been priceless,” she said. “Friendships have been forged between students that continue to this day.”