The Return of Cabaret Night

Leona Gagalac, Editor

On April 28th, the cafeteria was transformed into a performance venue as the FTHS music department welcomed guests to the first Cabaret Night since the pandemic. The entire room was decked in black and gold, highlighting the stars of the night – the students. Accompanied by a donated buffet of dinner, drinks, desserts, and music, the event was a fundraiser in support of the annual choir and band banquets, as well as senior scholarships. 

The program, opened and introduced by Mrs. Conners and Mrs. Patten, began fittingly with Kelly Larkin’s rendition of “Cabaret” from Cabaret. Soloists Gianna Hopper and Allison Karmazin captivated audiences after, with Gianna singing “There Are Worse Things I Can Do” from Grease and Allison singing “The Beauty Is” from The Light in the Piazza. On the other side of the cafeteria, Mr. Gattsek and members of the symphonic band played a medley of songs from Jersey Boys, highlighting the nostalgic and jazzy sound of the Four Seasons. After, band members Victoria Harper, Justin Morgan, Autumn Konar, and Aaron Stern performed Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me.” Paige Wehner, accompanied by Jess Reed on the piano, sang “Still Hurting” from The Last Five Years. Following, Aleckzah Cabayaran sang the ballad “All I Want” written by Olivia Rodrigo for High School Musical, the Musical, the Series. She then joined the rest of the concert choir to sing “The Rhythm of Life” from Sweet Charity. The smaller select choir ensemble then sang “Take Five.” For the last full symphonic ensemble piece, they played the arrangement “A Tribute to New York City” in honor of their May trip to Liberty State Park. The focus then was put on the singing stage, with Emily Landolfi and Noah Zalika singing “Suddenly Seymour” from Little Shop of Horrors. Lia Polisano and Sydney Bryant then followed with both of their own solo performances, with Lia singing “Love Will Come and Find Me Again” from Bandstand and Sydney singing “Burn” from Hamilton. Duo Shain Stanley and Dan Loges then sang the comedic song “Therapy” from Jonathan Larson’s Tick, Tick… Boom! Natalie Moradian wowed the room with her rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl, ending with an eruption of applause from the audience. After, jazz ensemble members Jason Feldman, Douglas Luke, Melvin Pineda, Justin Morgan, Aaron Stern, and Kenny Yoon performed “Stand By Me Because I Want You Back,” leading to a surprise promposal! To close out the night’s performances, the concert choir and all alumni sang “One Day More” from Les Misérables

Mrs. Conners spoke to the Patriot Press about the event’s success, saying that “This was an event that we had put on annually up until we left for Covid in 2019.  So, we haven’t held it like you saw live since 2019. I am very fortunate to have had a lot of help behind the scenes in planning and preparing for the event, like the choir parents, teachers, custodial staff, and more.  I am most fortunate to have Mr. G. partner the event with me.  While the few weeks prior to break and after we came back were hectic and chaotic to say the least, I am pleasantly surprised that it went so smoothly.

“What I think people don’t realize is the amount of work and rehearsal time that goes into the event.  On top of all the planning, all the acts and presentation blurbs had to be prepared, student performers worked on their solos on their own, and all of the big group ensembles also had to prepare for the night – that’s why it made me so proud to see it all come together.  It was so nice to see smiles on the faces of the audience and to showcase our talented band and choir students. I love that it was just a nice casual event and not a concert.  I think many were surprised we had food there and lots of it. I think everyone was impressed with the amount of talent in our department from both band and choir students.

“Lastly, we had a lovely crowd – more than we have had in the past.  We made more profits from this Cabaret Night than we’ve ever had in the past too. As you know the monies will go towards our end of the year banquets and senior scholarships. In conclusion, I am thrilled that Cabaret Night went so well.  I am thankful for all the help and proud of all our music department students that performed.”

With many seniors pursuing the arts and music after high school, the proceeds will go towards supporting their educational endeavors financially through scholarships, as well as celebrating the return of in-person music at each group’s end-of-year banquet. The pure talent of each performer was showcased through this event, and hopefully we’ll continue to see this annual event succeed for years to come.