castiglione polster fisher cabaret

Music in Motion seniors Giovanni Castiglione, Julia Polster (at piano) and Joelle Fisher prepare for Cabaret Night, starting at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in the auditorium.

With 54 singer-dancers, 16 band members and 24 students on crew, Solon High School’s show choir Music in Motion has won numerous trophies for its outstanding performances as an ensemble. Cabaret Night, starting at 7 p.m. Sept. 21 in the auditorium, showcases the talent of the individual MIM members.

This year’s event includes 43 student groups in the three-act show. A major MIM fundraiser, Cabaret Night also includes a silent auction, with bidding online at solon.es/mim.

Last year MIM won the Findlay Fest grand championship and came in fourth in a national competition in Wheaton, Illinois, outside Chicago.

“Throughout the year MIM had wonderful success, winning all the awards available, which include best band, vocals, choreography, crew and set design,” said music teacher Gary Lewis, who serves as show choir director. “The group’s success is not truly measured by the size of the trophy but by the people we impact around us.

“Cabaret Night showcases the talent that gets us there,” said Mr. Lewis. “It’s amazing to see how all the students pull this together at such a high level.”

“It’s not just one student at time, but several coming together in different groups,” added MIM assistant director Joseph M. Ferencie. Not just singer-dancers perform on Cabaret Night, but also band and crew students as well, he said. The audience enjoys continual entertainment, with each performance taking place while another act is being set up.

The silent auction includes large prizes such as a week’s vacation at the beach.

Proceeds from the evening, said Mr. Lewis, “help us pay for everything we do, including the rights to create musical arrangements, the garments the kids wear and our travel expenses.”

Onstage highlights include senior Giovanni Castiglione performing “Trolley Song” from “Meet Me in St. Louis” with accompaniment by Dr. Tom Scott on piano, Kelton Hale on bass and Josh Wang on the drums. Senior Kendal Wilson will perform the Michael Buble hit “Feelin’ Good,” and senior Gino Chiudioni will accompany himself on the piano on the Billy Joel classic, “New York State of Mind.”

Giovanni, who serves as one of the two dance captains, is one of several students performing on Cabaret Night who had lead roles in the musical “Beauty and the Beast” last spring. Among the others are seniors Joelle Fisher, who serves as the other MIM dance captain, and Julia Polster, MIM president.

All are excited for Cabaret Night. “We work as a team throughout the year,” said Julia. “It’s fun to see what everyone brings to the group.”

Joelle and Giovanni said they’re enjoying the wave of new talent in the group. “Each year MIM takes on a new personality,” Giovanni said.

The students’ enthusiasm is shared by their educators, who are professionals in their fields. Mr. Lewis has participated and competed in barbershop quartets for several years, and his quartet came in third at a recent world competition. He also directs the Men of Independence a cappella chorus.

Mr. Ferencie was the lead technician at Sea World for several years, setting up laser shows and fireworks. He also worked for an audio-visual installation company prior to becoming a Solon teacher, and continues to provide instant replay for Major League Baseball.

MIM works with choreographers Jarad Voss and Tori Burns, as well as interns Peyton Bellman and Grace Pacheco.

Doors for Cabaret Night will open at 6 p.m. on Sept. 21 at the high school auditorium, 33600 Inwood Road. For the best seat selection, purchase tickets online at www.solon.es/cabaret. Dress circle costs $18, upper circle, $12. Tickets are also available at the door. Complimentary desserts and beverages will be served.

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