Double trouble: the Bober twins excel in the arts
September 16, 2019
Megan Bober: A Giant Voice
Fresh off a New York University (NYU) summer music program, junior Megan Bober is ready to take the stage again this year in Advanced Performance Workshop (APW), ‘Til Dawn Acapella Group and open mic nights in Marin.
Playing piano since third grade, Bober has always had music as a constant in her life. In early middle school, her piano teacher encouraged her to sing whilst playing piano and eventually convinced Bober to give it a try.
“That’s when I realized I really like singing… I was really nervous because I had never sung before. But I still did it and I’m really happy I did because it’s made a huge impact on me,” Bober said.
By the time high school came around, Bober was immersed in the singing world. She took Intermediate Performance Workshop (IPW) as a freshman, where she learned how to further develop her musical talent. Through this class, Bober met other musicians, including fellow singer and junior Berta Bunch.
“Megan and I [are] in bands together a lot because we sing well together. We harmonize together. Her and I are kind of like a duo in the class,” Bunch said.
The two, along with many of their IPW peers, auditioned for APW at the end of freshman year and enrolled sophomore year. In addition to Bober’s music elective in school, she performs with an acapella group called ‘Til Dawn. ‘Til Dawn’s 15 vocalists come from multiple Marin County high schools and practice twice a week. According to Youth In Arts, the arts program based in San Rafael that runs ‘Til Dawn, they maintain an extensive year-round performance schedule, singing at schools and community events. Bober sent her audition to the group freshman year and has been singing with them ever since.
Through ‘Til Dawn, Bober was able to meet close friend Lara Burgert. Although Burgert is not a part of APW with Bober, Burgert loves to watch her perform.
“Whenever I go to her APW concert at school or I just watch [her] performances, [it is] really inspiring since she’s so confident. She has so much power. It’s taught me about being confident when [I am] singing and performing,” Burgert said.
The confidence Bober exudes has stemmed from techniques she has learned throughout her years of performing. Bunch admires this characteristic along with her coordination with her band.
“[Megan and I] always make sure that we’re working together on harmonies before performances [and] making them perfect. So that on stage when we’re nervous, we don’t have to be worried about messing up or sounding off-key… she makes sure to put her band first, makes sure to practice enough so that everybody is comfortable with playing [the piece],” Bunch said.
Confidence is key when you have a singing passion like Bober’s. While researching colleges specializing in music, she stumbled upon NYU’s summer program “Contemporary Performance Workshop”. In February, she applied with two songs for their July camp. Once accepted in May, she headed off on a two-week adventure to learn from the professionals.
“[The program] was basically a workshop where every day we would learn new things and people would come in [to help us improve],” Bober said.
Managing school and music can be challenging for Bober, but she sees a future in singing, so she is motivated to stick with the musical aspect of her life.
“I make time for [music] because it’s what I love to do,” Bober said.
Bober isn’t the only one who believes in her future music career. Burgert is inspired by Bober’s powerful stage presence and anticipates a musical future for her.
“She just has so much to offer and I feel like she could definitely be a singer or write music and perform,” Burgert said. “She definitely has so much to show to the world and so much to share with everybody.”
At her NYU showcase, Bober sang “Manhattan” by Sara Bareilles. Although this was a cover, Bober does not limit herself to covering other musicians’ pieces. She also writes her own music. Bober has not yet performed these original tunes for Redwood, but she has wowed audiences at open mics, including Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley and HopMonk Tavern in Novato. This fall, she plans to go more out of her comfort zone and vocalize her authentic music on the Redwood stage.
Picture this: devotion and drive guides Jack Bober to a successful hobby
In today’s modern society, photographs are a universal language. Due to the technological advancements of the smartphone, individuals can hold hundreds or even thousands of photos in their pocket. Yet there is so much more to photography than just the simple snapshot of a moment. Photographers are our eyes to the world––they inform, inspire and amaze us. Junior Jack Bober embraces this community by capturing images that fuel his enthusiasm for photography, a hobby he has grown to cherish.
Bober’s fervor for photography began in eighth grade. After years of bodyboarding at the beach with his family, he decided he was more interested in the beauty behind the scenic landscape than riding the waves. He started to bring along a GoPro. Fascinated by taking photos, Bober began purchasing more equipment with the money he earned working as an umpire for Little League baseball games. Bober now gets into the water with a Nikon D7200, secured in a waterproof housing––a case that allows for full control of the camera while it is submerged in water––to pursue surf photography.
“I like doing surf photography the most so I do surf photography a lot more than everything else. But during the summer I do more landscape [photography] because the waves are not as good compared to the winter,” Bober said.
Bober is mainly self-taught, but he has done a few workshops and participated in a two week-long National Geographic camp in Yellowstone. Although this process may have been more time-consuming than taking a class, Bober feels it has been a rewarding experience.
“It’s more gratifying being self-taught because it allows me to create my own style of photography and not base it off of what someone else taught me and what they like to do. All I needed was a little inspiration,” Bober said.
Bober credits a lot of his success to the role models and people he has met in the photography world.
“Whenever I go to Hawaii, [Southern California] or Santa Cruz, I meet up with other surf photographers,” Bober said. “This guy named Andrew Ling was one of the teachers during the [National Geographic] camp. We keep on talking about photography and he helps me a lot.”
Ling has taught photography to a countless number of teens. As a teacher, Ling admires Bober’s drive and determination that is replicated through his photos.
“Most 16-year-olds aren’t quite sure what they want to do yet, which is absolutely normal and perfectly fine. I just feel like Jack knows exactly what he wants to do and what he wants to shoot and he goes after it, which is amazing and stands out,” Ling said.
Bober appreciates his role models, but he credits most of his accomplishments to his mother, Leanne Bober. Leanne has watched Jack grow as a photographer these past three years and has helped push him past his comfort zone. She is extremely proud that he is so accomplished in what started as a simple interest.
“Jack has found success in his Instagram, website and selling his prints. This summer he was published in multiple surf magazines and famous Instagram accounts have started to republish his work,” Leanne said.
Although Jack loves photography, he does not want to make a career out of it. However, Jack does plan to continue his passion during college and onward. For him, the fulfillment of photography, more specifically surf photography, is what is most important.
“Photography is almost like an obsession for [Jack]. He loves photography so much and it is very fulfilling for him. He wants to do it in all of his free time,” Leanne said. “He has truly found something that makes him happy and that’s what is important.”
Jack hopes to continue improving his photography skills, whether that improvement is with water or landscape work. Jack and Ling agree that doing something you are devoted to is more thrilling and enjoyable.
“Knowing I can always get a better photo has pushed me to become the photographer I am today,” Jack said. “I do know that I am not close to being the photographer I will be in five years, and that pushes me to continue sharpening my skills and improving.”