Artist of the Week: Jenna Catalon
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Many will know senior Jenna Catalon, a double major in English and political science as this year’s music editor for Westmont’s literary and arts magazine, the Phoenix. Both a passionate artist and a lover of binge-watching Netflix series, Catalon finds joy in facilitating others’ work. If you’re a musician or spoken word artist, she can help you. “I'm truly so excited to be able to curate an album of Westmont students' original pieces,” says Catalon.
Catalon is also involved with the dance team Nstep as a choreographer, where she enjoys the creative process of collaborating and grooving with the other captains. “There's really nothing like getting into the dance room with other people and forging dances out of thin air. It's great,” she says.
Since the age of six, Catalon has loved singing and playing the guitar. However, it wasn’t until arriving at Westmont that Catalon started composing original songs with her guitar. Recently, Catalon was able to use this talent to help others, an accomplishment she is very proud of.
After the disaster and displacement of the Tubbs Fire in her hometown Santa Rosa and the recent Thomas Fire, Catalon felt the need to involve herself in the disaster relief. During the Christmas Break, Catalon single-handedly planned, coordinated, and performed a small benefit concert for the fire victims.
In the beginning, there was only a small number of people who RSVP’d to the event on Facebook. Despite only expecting a small audience, Catalon carried on with the concert as planned. To her surprise, on the day of the concert there were thirty people who attended. Catalon performed fourteen original songs during the night and raised over $1,000 in under three hours to benefit the fires’ victims. “I was blown away by the encouragement and generosity. I'm immensely proud of what we accomplished that night,” beams Catalon.
One of Catalon’s more hidden talents is her hobby of poetry writing. Currently she is going through her archives and assimilating a poetry collection. For the senior Capstone project required for her English major, Catalon decided to put her poems into a collection consisting of four chapters. Each chapter corresponds to one year of Catalon’s time and seasons of life here at Westmont, and they are titled Year One, Year Two, Year Three, and Year Four. “My style is definitely modern and accessible. Think Rupi Kaur but not as extraordinary,” Catalon comments. All of her experiences have been poured into her works and even Catalon sees how her poetic voice has evolved over the last four years.
Catalon encourages her peers to audition for the Phoenix as submissions are open until February 12. She is also on the lookout for a surfing instructor. Despite living by the beach for the past four years, Catalon has yet to learn and feels that now is the time. If you are interested in assisting with either, look for Jenna Catalon.