Seniors Share Memories, Give Advice About Cabaret Night


The following is a Q & A with four seniors who recently performed at their last Cabaret Night. They reflect on some of their favorite memories, what they love most about the event, and advice they would give to others. 

What was the first time you performed at Cabaret Night? What did your act include? 

Hannah Beals-Romero: The first time I performed at Cabaret was actually when I was in 8th grade. I was part of a flute trio that won “Best in Room” at that year’s Solo and Ensemble, so NDA graciously invited us to perform our piece at their event.

Emily Hoeppner:  I performed at Cabaret when I was in 8th grade. I sang my Solo and Ensemble piece, and I was very nervous because all of the high schoolers were watching me. 

Elijah Bieker: I performed last year at the post-covid return. I performed with the Jazz Band and the Tritones as a percussionist, but what was really special was the band I formed with my friends. We made a big jazz-rock fusion band with a horn section. We got to be the big closer of the night and performed “Future 86” by Bomb the Music Industry, “The Distance” by Cake, and the Sammy Rae and the Friends version of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”

Addie Weiss: Cabaret has only been a thing my junior and senior year, and I was able to perform for both of them. Last year I performed a solo vocal piece, a vocal duo with my best friend, and a group vocal piece with my close friends from the theater program.

What has been your favorite memory from Cabaret Night? 

Hannah Beals-Romero: My favorite memory from Cabaret was definitely this year. I played a duet with my friend Beckett Chambers and the piece we chose is one of the most cathartic pieces I’ve ever played. Performing with another student who shares my passion for music evokes a feeling like none other. This piece was also a challenge to learn and put together, so hearing that people enjoyed it definitely paid off.

Emily Hoeppner: My favorite memory are the final performances at the end of the night in the Auditorium. They always bring such good energy, and it is so fun to watch everyone perform. 

Elijah Bieker: My favorite memory from Cabaret Night was simply the time I spent with my friends. We spent many hours at houses and practice rooms to put our performance together. We also arranged all of our music which took a lot of time and work but was an incredible experience. It was so much fun to put together the group and play what we wanted to play. Performing our set that night was also a fantastic time. Cabaret Night has produced some of my most cherished memories from high school.

Addie Weiss: My favorite Cabaret memory doesn’t come from performing but attending it when I was younger. I specifically remember seeing someone sing “I Won’t Say I’m in Love” from Hercules in the library and knowing I wanted to do that someday.

What’s your favorite aspect of Cabaret Night? What will you miss the most?

Hannah Beals-Romero: My favorite aspect is seeing people who don’t normally perform show off something they love. One of my best friends, Riley Guyette, did stand-up comedy, something he’s never done before. Acts like these really highlight how performing brings joy to so many people. However, the thing I will miss the most is working with and listening to the “regulars” of the music department. These individuals who have gotten involved since day one forever have a place in my heart, as their continual hard work for the sake of making something beautiful was part of the reason I stuck with music.

Emily Hoeppner: My favorite aspect is the originality. No other school does something like this; I also really enjoy the art that is on display. I will definitely miss getting to perform with my friends the most. 

Elijah Bieker: Cabaret Night is so special to me because we, as the performers, get to choose exactly what we want to perform. You do what you want to do and who you want to do it with. We get full control of our show. It’s also really low stakes. You don’t have to be a prodigy to perform something. I’ll miss seeing all the wonderful talent of the community, talent that some people hide well. Cabaret Night allows students to share those gifts, and I think that’s really spectacular.

Addie Weiss: I love that it gives everyone a platform for performance, even those who wouldn’t normally get the opportunity otherwise. It’s a celebration of creativity across the board and shines a light on many people’s hidden talents.

What would you like to tell others who are considering performing in the years to come?

Hannah Beals-Romero: My advice to younger classes would be to get as involved as you can. I had so much fun on the stage, which is something I don’t always get to do as an instrumentalist. Try something new, get some friends together for an act, and do whatever you can to make memories. Your time at NDA goes by quick, so make the most of it.

Emily Hoeppner: I would say just do it. You are going to regret not doing it, plus it is simply just fun. 

Elijah Bieker: Give Cabaret Night a shot and use it to make some memories with those you care about. I’m so grateful to get the opportunity to be a part of it and to share the stage with some of my closest friends. Seize that opportunity.

Addie Weiss: Do it! It’s one night and it has such a casual atmosphere. There’s not a lot of pressure and everyone feels so supportive.