Cymbals showcases student artistic talents

Caroline Bernstein, Arts Editor

If you have not had the chance to look through an issue of Cymbals, Princeton Day School’s literary magazine, then you are missing out on an impressive collection of work created by Princeton Day School students. Cymbals highlights student work in a variety of different mediums—writing, photography, studio art, and even architecture. When choosing pieces to put into the next volume, Cymbal’s staff likes to consider which pieces most accurately refect the diverse and creative environment that PDS is. “I try to look around and see what makes PDS special, and so things that I don’t think other schools might necessarily have, we need to shine a spotlight on,” said Upper School English teacher and faculty advisor to Cymbals for the past fve years Jamie McCulloch. He cited initiatives such as our architecture program and our commitment to sustainability as things he would like to see highlighted in the magazine.

This year, Cymbals was named frst place among high school magazines by the American Scholastic Press Association. This is no small honor, nor is it one that is new to Cymbals. This is the second consecutive year that Cymbals has ranked frst and the year before that it had been ranked second.

“There’s still another level that we’re chasing, which is frst [place] with something like honorable distinction, something that’s even more wonderful,” said Mr. McCulloch. With an impressive collection of students working on and editing the magazine, this seems to be an attainable goal for Cymbals. However, being authentic and real is the staff’s number one priority, not winning awards. “I think that we always have to weigh the sort of needs or desires of the staff who edits Cymbals against the contest and to see whether a contest, conforming to it, would cramp our vision,” explained Mr. McCulloch, adding, “I don’t think that it has, I think it actually has strengthened our vision to submit to that contest because it helps clarify who’s doing what in the magazine and makes us think about how the artists and writers are featured in the magazine so that the spotlight shines upon them and what kind of work they’re doing better.”

For anyone with an interest in submitting to Cymbals, (and all students are highly encouraged!) it is a very simple process. Just go to cymbals.submittable. com, and follow the steps online for submitting your work. Submissions are then reviewed by Cymbals staff and ultimately voted on to see whether or not they will be put into the upcoming volume. “I think it is a good way for people to showcase what they haven’t already in English. If someone is talented at something they don’t necessarily have a place for at school, they can showcase it here,” replied Cymbal’s staff member junior Catie Higgins when asked why people should submit to the magazine.

Revived this year is an online edition of the magazine, which will allow students even more opportunities to see their work published. The staff is currently in the process of choosing which pieces to place in their online version, hoping to fnd the same success online as they have with the print.