The upbeat sounds of instrumental and vocal jazz music recently filled the Newark High School cafeteria and auditorium during the annual Cabaret Night and Jazz Festival.
The event previously was held in the NHS Auditorium. It was moved to two locations this year in hopes of providing a more pleasing experience acoustically and cut down on the amount of time needed for performers to set up between vocal and instrumental musical sets.
Performers included Vocal Jazz, directed by vocal music teacher Kate Flock; Downbeat, a band featuring NHS vocal and instrumental musicians; NHS Jazz Band, directed by instrumental musical teacher Robert Humphrey; and Andy Stobie and the Greater Finger Lakes Jazz Orchestra.
Vocal Jazz performed in the cafeteria as attendees enjoyed desserts and beverages. Downbeat, Jazz Band and GFLJO performed with NHS soloists in the auditorium for the show’s second half.
Jazz Band performed two solo numbers and two pieces with GFLJO before the regional show band performed solo to end the event.
Humphrey and Flock said they heard positive comments about the change in the event, which was attended by more than 75 people and broadcast live on Facebook.
“So far, feedback has been very positive,” Flock said. “Vocally speaking, people have mentioned that the vocalists’ sound could be heard much better in the cafeteria.”
Humphrey agreed.
“The folks in attendance were very positive about the experience and the way we changed the venue for this year,” he said. “The kids got to shine in a scenario which better supported their artistic strengths and musical excellence. We had between 75 and 100 in attendance.”
Flock and Humphrey thanked everyone attending, and credited much of the night’s success to the work of Newark Music Boosters and Scott Diamond, broadcast TV and social media coordinator for Newark Central School District.
“Music Boosters play a pivotal role in this event,” Humphrey said. “We couldn’t do it without them. Likewise, Scott Diamond and WNHS was paramount to this event being a success this year.
“I am so proud of our students for their work, dedication and especially for their musical excellence. We have some very special things happening in Newark. I also was so pleased to have Andy Stobie and the Greater Finger Lakes Jazz Orchestra perform with and for us at this event. Members of the band will be out to work with our Jazz Band in the next few weeks. It’s amazing to see the kids blossom and grow with this experience. We are all very lucky to have so many special opportunities.”