Plans Underway for Cabaret Night on March 21


Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Notre Dame Academy hosts a night every year for students and families to show off their fine arts  talent.

Cabaret Night will be held Saturday, March 21, with continuous performances in the auditorium, the commons and the library.  

German teacher Jen Laaksonen coordinates the entire event.

However, art teacher Melanie Bradshaw, choir teacher Christine Salerno and band director Steve Johnson all have major roles in helping with the evening. 

Anyone who wants to perform is welcome to be a part of Cabaret Night.  Being in band or choir is not a prerequisite. 

In the past non-traditional acts have included juggling, yo-yoing, Irish dancing, class acts performed by a one teacher’s particular students and poetry interpretation.

Salerno said, “My favorite Cabaret performances are well-rehearsed musical acts and unusual things like dancing, acting and karate.” 

Performances range from three to five minutes except some of the bands at the end are longer. Student emcees in the three performance areas keep the shows moving.

“Usually 30 to 40 or more people or groups perform, including Jazz Bands, Tritones and chamber ensembles for band,” said Salerno. 

Large-group acts take the stage in the auditorium along with a preference given to seniors for their “swan song” performance. Teacher acts often get the stage as well. 

The commons area includes tables for eating while performances go on there while the library tends to feature singers and pianists.

“Many Cabaret Night memories stand out to me,” said Salerno. “Recently I loved performing with the faculty jazz group which included Mr. Johnson, Emmauel Sosa and me with Ben Jensen on bass.”

Salerno encourages everyone to come watch. She said, “It is SO fun. Please come and watch or come and perform.”

Johnson said, “I direct the instrumental groups (jazz bands, brass ensemble), help plan the event, coordinate with GRACE music teachers (GRACE sends several outstanding soloists from their solo & ensemble to Cabaret Night each year), and coordinate with the NDA Band Aid organization on the meal.” 

This year they are planning to serve barbeque. 

Bradshaw’s role in this talent-filled evening is planning and preparing the art shows. 

“There will be three shows happening in different areas including the general art show with artworks from students in semester 2 art classes, the IB Visual Arts Exhibition, which is a display of the final portfolio pieces the IB students will be submitting, and the Juried Art Competition that students can submit pieces to,” explained the art teacher.   

Around 200 pieces of art will be on display..

Bradshaw said, “There will be three guest jurors who view the juried show and score each piece on a rubric based on technical skill, craftsmanship and creativity.”

Many different types of artwork will be displayed, including metal work and 2D media. 

“I am looking forward to seeing what students submit for the juried show but think we are going to have a really spectacular variety there as well,” said Bradshaw.

English teacher Carolyn Brown used to be in charge of this event before passing off the reins to Laaksonen.  

“It has been fun to see it grow from practically no one attending to one of the best nights of the year,” said Brown. “Frau knows how to organize and how to inspire.  It will be a great night for the arts.”