Columbia HS Students to Perform at SOPAC Gala May 30

by The Village Green
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The following is from the South Orange Performing Arts Center:

Members of Columbia High School’s talented student population, and several musical alumnae, will be spotlighted throughout the evening at The South Orange Performing Arts Center 2015 Gala on Saturday, May 30th. Honoring “Coach” Johanna Wright, former Mayor Fred Profeta and philanthropist Paul Profeta for their contributions to promoting the arts, the theme of “Arts and Education” is central to the evening’s festivities.

20 students from the Columbia High School (CHS) A Cappella group, Unaccompanied Minors, directed by Jamie Bunce, as well as the Columbia High School Quartet, directed by Todd van Beveren, will be performing at the cocktail party while attendees stroll between floors and bid on silent auction items ranging from Glass Roots jewelry, to a Bacon Brothers meet ‘n greet, to a week in a charming New England vacation home.

Following the performance by Tony Award-winning performer Brian Stokes Mitchell, students from this winter’s highly acclaimed CHS production of Ragtime will be singing several numbers from their hit show which was just nominated for 14 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards. CHS Ragtime cast members were fortunate enough to meet with Mr. Mitchell during their rehearsal process earlier this year to discuss elements of character and creative process. Also performing at the after party are talented CHS alumnae Theo Walentiny, pianist, and Ian Kenselaar, bassist, in their jazz ensemble.

In addition to the student performances, a juried exhibit of art by 14 CHS fine arts students entitled Inspired Minds, A Young Artist Exhibition, will line the walls of the Herb and Milly Iris Gallery on the second and third floors of the building. Mediums of focus include monoprint collage, digital print, mixed media, acrylic, charcoal, graphite, and pen and ink. The exhibit will be on display to the public through August 15th.

Tickets, which include a cocktail party and silent auction starting at 5:30 PM followed by a Brian Stokes Mitchell concert on the mainstage and a “speakeasy after party” in the LOFT, are still available by calling (973) 313-2787 or by visiting

Columbia High School Students

A Cappella Choir
Ms. Jamie Bunce, Director
Olivia Calabrese
Natalie Dix
Sara Housley
Natalie Kleppe
Sarah Kleppe
Brianna Newman
Aleiyia Brown
Grace Dickson
Delainey Fuschetto
Holly Lehren
Vivienne Longstreet
Olivia Herring
Autumn Jones
Eva Neimeijer
Josh Ewing
Hunter Kovacs
Will Pettigrew
Russell Pinzino
Tyler Rivera
Jacob Tall
Isaiah Thomas
Ben Blaise
Ben Doubek
Omowumi Mebude
Alex Schuetz
Eli Weisenfeld
Aanu Fawole Dan Zona

Columbia High School String Quartet
Mr. Todd Van Beveren, Director
Henry Conrad Poor
Samantha Berek
Christina Jones
William Chang

Ragtime Performance
Bethany Pettigrew, Director
Michael Healy, Producer
Ali Pease
Russel Pinzino
Isaiah Thomas
Hannah Nye

Inspired Minds: Young Artist Exhibition
Mackenzie Bowles
Maya Braunstein
Katherine Camara
Alexis Caruso
Jacob Correa
Sophie Fisher
Jacob Hirsch
Julien Hryshko
Holly Hunking
Joy Kelson
Sarah Noll
Austin Romanaux
Keza Ruranga
Margaux Temmerman
Daisy Tyler
Alisa Weinberg
Edward Willshire

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