Rhythm and Rhyme hosted 21st Annual Show in April


Jame Dawson and Kylie McCarron performing in 2022 Rhythm and Rhyme show.

Audrey Whitfield, Business Manager

Rhythm and Rhyme, Monroe-Woodbury’s annual festival of poetry and music, took place in-person this year on April 22. 

Rhythm and Rhyme is a music and poetry festival where student artists are showcased in a setting that is more supportive, encouraging, and intimate. There aren’t many opportunities for students to showcase their musical and literary talents, so this festival gives them an opportunity to do so. 

Participants have to audition for Rhythm and Rhyme. A program is then created after working with poets and musicians to perfect their pieces. Although the majority of performers are students, some faculty and Board of Education members have performed over the years. 

There are usually about 20 performers from each genre who perform. However, there are typically more poets, since musicians often have longer pieces and therefore take up more time.

“We started with [roughly] three-quarter poetry to one-quarter music, and now run half and half,” said English Department Chair Ms. Bulla, one of the event’s organizers along with her husband, Mr. Bulla. Performances are usually from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the auditorium.  

For the past two years, Rhythm and Rhyme took place remotely due to COVID-19.

“The last two years’ of video productions of the show honestly far exceeded our expectations. We were so impressed with the courage of all our student artists,” said Ms. Bulla. However, she was excited to finally be back in person. 

“What I enjoy most is seeing the participants experience how powerful their words can be,” said Mr. Romeo, an English teacher. “And for them to realize that yes, they have a voice that is worth sharing and worth being heard. Because once they realize that, they’ll be writers for life.”

English teacher Mr. Filie is also always impressed with the show, and he has been to all 19 events, except one. “I’ve never left without being amazed at the amount of unknown talent there is in this building,” said Mr. Filie.

“The hope is that, once [the performers] get over their hesitation, they’ll realize that sharing or publishing their writing is as necessary a part of the process as writing it,” said Mr. Romeo. Some incredible opportunities have come out of performing in this show. Andy Grammer performed in Monroe Woodbury’s first showing in 2002, according to Mr. Romeo. 

This year, sisters Jillian and Jamie Calub performed a song together. Jillian played the ukulele and both her and her sister sang  “Dear Theodosia,” from Hamilton. This is their first year performing, with the two deciding to audition after hearing about it from a friend, since they love music.

I’m mostly looking forward to [hearing] my friends perform something of their own, and also showcase a talent of my own to them,” said Calub.

Senior Victoria Banker attended her first Rhythm and Rhyme this year.

“Though I’ve never been to a Rhythm and Rhyme performance, I was completely enamored by the varying artists and complexity of their pieces,” said Banker. “I really wish I had opened myself up to go to one in the past because it’s an experience I will never forget. Music always hits a soft spot for me, so every guitar, piano, or vocal performance was amazing to me”