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Kendall students entertain at their first dessert cabaret

Posted 6 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Sue Cook – The Kendall High School Jazz Band, led by teacher Ashlea Strouse (left with arms raised), plays a rendition of “Blue Skies.”

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

KENDALL – Last night, Kendall entertained with student and teacher performances from their many music programs. The last few years the spring event has been An Evening of Jazz. This year, the teachers decided to change it up to become The Kendall Music Boosters First Annual Spring Dessert Cabaret and to include all the school music programs.

The performances throughout the evening were a mix of modern and classic. Some of the modern songs included “Flightless Bird” by Iron & Wine, which can be found on the soundtrack of the movie “Twilight” and Coldplay’s “Fix You,” which served as the evening’s finale.

Katie Richardson, Abby Rice, Tessa Vick, Sarah Gardner, Marisa Hanlon and Carley Lester sing “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical “Les Misèrables.”

Kendall Superintendent Julie Christensen was thrilled to have the school hold the event.

“We wanted to recognize their talents and then the money they raise will go toward some of their equipment,” she said. “Sometimes they need big pieces of equipment for when they go off to off to the Heritage Jazz Festival. We use that money to offset some of the cost for some of the kids who would otherwise be unable to go. It’s a great opportunity to showcase and do something a little different.”

Some teachers performed throughout the night. Here Ashlea Strouse is playing “Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms” on the trumpet while accompanied on piano by Leanne Swaciak who teaches elementary band. Swaciak accompanied many student performances throughout the night.

“It gives the kids more opportunities to perform,” said 7th through 12th grade instrumental music teacher Ashlea Strouse. “It’s a chance for diverse music to be performed together.”

Jayden Peniaszek took the stage with a very bluesy look that included a fedora and sunglasses. He removed the sunglasses and threw the audience a wink before starting his performance of “Trumpet Voluntary.”

The money earned from the evening goes toward funding all the music programs at the school. The students were very appreciative of the chance to perform in the cabaret.

Elementary general music and chorus teacher Jeremy Rath entertained the crowd as the worked their way through the dessert tables sampling everything from chocolate fondue to ice cream and more.

Senior Mark Washington, member of the a capella group Vocal Effect, said, “Thank you to the Kendall music department teachers.”

“And thanks to everyone for coming and supporting us,” added fellow Vocal Effect member senior Dustin Furness. Vocal Effect, led by 7th to 12th grade vocal teacher Steven Miller, will be performing the National Anthem at the Rochester Razorsharks game today.

Mary Price served chocolate cake at the dessert intermission. She is a Music Booster supporter because two of her sons are in the Kendall music programs. Her son Jonathan is a junior and her son Kenny is a freshmen.