By: Angie Wang
On April 15, 2011, MSJ’s Performing Arts department plans to hold their annual Jazz Dance, a formal dinner and dance event held at the Fremont Marriot. The event features MSJ’s renowned jazz band as well as guest vocalists. Various selections by Duke Ellington, Dave Eshelman, and Frank Sinatra will be performed at the year’s gala, named “April in Paris” after the song by Vernon Duke.
This year, Band Director Monica Kraft has decided to expand the event to other performing arts classes outside of the Jazz Band. This year’s gala will also feature a string ensemble from MSJ’s string orchestra as well as a short performance by MSJ’s 2011 award-winning winter guard team, in addition to the usual performance by the jazz band and guest vocalists Senior Karthik Raman, Junior Amy Mendonca, and Sophomores Shivani Ariathurai and Ciara Lunger. As a result of this expansion, the event has been renamed MSJ Universal Performers (MSJ UP)’s Annual Performing Arts Gala.
The goal of this event is to raise enough money to fund projects such as purchasing new mallet percussion equipment and uniforms. Kraft hopes to raise enough money to be able to purchase new uniforms for MSJ’s growing band by December of 2012, when various groups throughout the performing arts department, including the marching band, will be travelling to London to perform for the Lord Mayor.
Preparations for this event begin long before the event is actually held. There are various task groups that contribute to the buildup of this event; some students work on decorations and thematic elements for the gala while the rest work on selling tickets to raise money and donating items to raffle baskets as well as asking local businesses to donate to and advertise with the event.
This year’s gala will be held on April 15, 2011 at 7PM at the Fremont Marriott. Tickets are $60 and include a three-course dinner with a choice of pasta, chicken, or steak. Come to MSJ’s Performing Arts Gala for a fun night with your friends or some quality time with your family, all while supporting MSJ’s Performing Arts Department.