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The Tritonian

Students, Staff Encouraged to Showcase Their Talent at Cabaret Night


Cabaret Night is set for March 21, and students and staff are encouraged to showcase their talents, whether it be dance, music or art.  But sign-up time is NOW.

The event is free, and guests get to decide which performances they would like to watch. Smaller performances will take place in the library, while bigger acts will be in the auditorium.

“It is just cool. We are all there to support each other,” said English teacher Carolyn Brown.

Band Director Steve Johnson is in charge of the jazz band that will be performing in the commons. Several other chamber groups will be there as well.

“We hope to also host a number of student performers from the GRACE schools in the commons and/or the library again this year,” commented Johnson.

Students have been rehearsing both during and outside school hours to prepare. The jazz band attended a UWSP jazz fest a few weeks ago, which Johnson described as “a great learning experience.”

The band parents will once again be in charge of providing meals. Some of the options include pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese and chili. Their goal is to provide affordable and kid-friendly options.

Johnson strongly believes “students should take advantage of the opportunity to perform and/or watch their classmates perform.”

“Cabaret Night is a great opportunity for students to showcase their talents in a way otherwise not easily available. In the past, we have had dancers, rappers, rock bands, and drum lines, as well as traditional vocal and instrumental soloists.”

Choir teacher Maria Hinnendael is leading the NDA show choir. They will be singing a few pop songs, but Hinnendael did not want to give away any surprises. Attendees should “expect some awesome singing and dancing.”

“Leading up to Cabaret Night, my role is to help prepare students for their performances. If you are performing and want to work with me on your performance, feel free to let me know and we can work together,” expressed Hinnendael.

Hinnendael will also be performing with Johnson and social studies teacher Greg Geiser.

Music is not the only thing being showcased at Cabaret Night. There will also be artwork on display under the guidance of art teacher Tina Harpold.

“My role is to help facilitate the art show portion of the event. I help students get their work together and look ready for presentation in order to give them an art show experience that many have not had before,” explained Harpold.

Harpold also teaches International Baccalaureate (IB) students who will be displaying their IB exhibitions.

“They have been creating artwork with this night in mind for almost two years,” she explained.

Artwork will be mainly displayed in and around the library, but it is up to the students who are “curating the exhibits” to decide where their pieces are displayed.

“The goal is to pick spaces that best compliment the works and make the best experience for the viewers.”

Professional artists in the Green Bay area will be brought in to judge and score the works. Andrew Linskens and Kobe Elixon were two of the judges from last year’s show. Linskens is a mural artist who has painted “numerous buildings in downtown Green Bay.” Elixon is a printmaking artist from Florida. 

This year’s judges will be announced soon, but the judges are still being finalized.

The artwork will be scored on technical skill, craftsmanship, and creativity.

“Last year, the judges commented about things like the impact of the artworks – how memorable each piece is after you walk away from it, or how much it makes you think or question. They also noticed qualities that show each artist’s personal style and voice,” said Harpold.

Even though the judges never met the actual artists in person, they “could feel a sense of cultural authenticity in a work created by a student who was from Ghana.”

There will be four exhibitions done by IB students, but other art students not in IB usually submit drawings and paintings. For art submissions, anything one makes is only eligible for one year from the time one makes it. As a result, students only get “one chance to show each piece.”

“This is such a unique event, especially for people who do not normally get their work seen, or whose work might not fit traditional definitions of art required in other venues,” said Harpold.

Prize money will be awarded to the winners of the art show, and the winner’s art work will become a permanent part of the NDA art collection.

Whether you are thinking about showcasing your artwork or other talent, the deadline to sign-up is February 19.

Director of Student Activities Frau Laaksonen coordinates all the varied pieces of Cabaret Night.

One of the big changes to this year’s event is that it is now on a weekday. In the past, Cabaret Night has been on a Saturday, but Laaksonen hopes by moving it to a Thursday, more students will be available to perform.

As of now, there are 23 acts, which is 10 to 15 short of last year’s event.

“It is hard to get kids to put themselves out there,” commented Laaksonen.

Laaksonen has promoted Cabaret Night on the morning announcements, and she has reached out to the NDA faculty to encourage their students to consider signing-up.

Laaksonen’s biggest job is coordinating the performance times and locations. According to Laaksonen, it can be challenging when students are in more than one performance.

The NDA Tech Crew is responsible for setting up and taking down the sets.

Laaksonen’s favorite part of Cabaret Night is “being able to go to different places.” She especially likes watching acts where she had no idea a student had that talent.

“Come and see what it is all about. If you come and actually experience it, you will want to be a part of it in the future,” expressed Laaksonen.

Cabaret Night has become an NDA tradition. It was originally held by the NDA Drama Club, but attendance numbers were low because guests had to pay to get in. The school came to Brown to get the attendance numbers up. 

“I said I’d take charge of organizing the night but only if it was free to attend,” said Brown. The result was a long evening with multiple performing areas–the commons, the library, the auditorium and even some classrooms. 

“At 8 o’clock we’d shut down the cafe in the commons and end the acts in all the performing rooms to gather in the auditorium for what we called ‘the big acts,’ the bands and primarily seniors doing their last performance at NDA. My dream is to grow it back to pre-pandemic days, and if anyone can do it, Frau and Mr. Johnson and Ms. Harpold can do it,” said Brown.

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About the Contributor
Mason Tumpach
Mason Tumpach, Editor-in-Chief
Mason Tumpach is a senior at NDA that is entering his second year writing for the Tritonian. Along with writing news and feature stories that highlight the best qualities of NDA, Mason is also a German Club leader. If you don’t find him writing for the paper, he most likely can be found playing the piano or attending jiu jitsu practice. Mason is also a member of the Debate Club and Writers Union. He is looking forward to working with Mrs. Brown and all the other staff members to make the Tritonian the best it can be.

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