North High School Jazz Cabaret Raises the Roof

The arts are alive and well at North High School. Allyson Olsen, John Jonas and Katy Lushman — the music department’s formidable teaching trio — presented a fundraiser for the vocal and instrumental department on Feb. 27 at the Little Man Ice Cream Factory, 4411 W. Colfax Ave. All proceeds from the event benefit North’s honor choir, concert band and orchestra’s competition in April at the Winter Park Ski-Music Festival. The event brought the house down with a rich performance of student and professional jazz musicians.

Students dressed in their flapper best welcomed guests through the back alley with a secret password, “All that Jazz.” Beer donated by Ratio Brewing Co. and wine courtesy of North High School parent Michael Kiley and family brought the speakeasy vibe to life. Students served hors d’oeuvres to the proud parents and community supporters who filled the factory to the brim.

Set to the sounds of a bygone era, musical numbers like Moon River, Fly Me to the Moon, Moon Dance, Mack the Knife and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy permeated the air. More than 65 students performed beautifully in a two hour concert that once again highlights North High School’s rise in the arts. 

Paddle raises, live auction items and a unique topspin on fundraising had parents tipping the performers. The majority of tips went back to the school, however, the winning team — which performed “Valerie” — was awarded by keeping its earnings. The group was comprised of students Sof Turner, Emma Gentry, Sofia Diaz, Jaqueline Speth, Hope Scott and Avi Lopez. 

As the musical director of the upcoming North High School production of “9 to 5: The Musical”, Olsen was elated about the results of the evening and the fact that so many of her vocal students and Jonas’ instrumental team will also be performing in the upcoming musical production. Watch for three of the leads — Amber Kiley, Sophie Scholl and Teresa McManus — to sprinkle some of North High School’s musical magic dust on the stage March 19, 20 and 21. Go Vikings!

Photos courtesy of Harry Warters.


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