Interview with Katherine Vargas, Upper and Middle Division Chorus Instructor
What inspired you to bring Cabaret Night to Academy?
When I was in school, we had district and state solo and ensemble vocal association competitions. Our All-School Musical conflicted with this event, and so I created Cabaret Night later in the school year to give students the opportunity to prepare and perform solos and ensembles but on a different platform.
What was the first year that Academy put on a Cabaret Night?
The first year Academy put on a Cabaret Night was after my first year teaching chorus during the 2008-2009 school year.
What is/was your overall vision for Cabaret Night?
Initially, Cabaret Night took the form of a recital where we had audience members in rows and students performed on stage. The last two years, it has finally developed into the concert event I envisioned years ago—a “dinner theatre” type atmosphere with tables instead of rows, fabulous décor, spotlights, and light refreshments. I am thankful to the Fine Arts Team and Ms. Dorie Burnham’s logistical geniuses for helping me achieve this vision!
How does Cabaret Night fit into the 6 C’s?
Cabaret Night epitomizes the “6 C’s!” Singers must think about the “character” of a piece, specifically, how the character in a song or the lyrics of a song relates to how someone thinks, feels, and behaves and how you will demonstrate this in your performance. Students must show “citizenship” in order to participate in Cabaret—
Students must demonstrate that they are responsible members of the “choral community” at Academy at the Lakes. In order to perform in Cabaret Night, you must “collaborate” with other vocalists, the choral directors, the accompanist, and instrumentalists. At heart, singing is a “communicative” endeavor. Students must artfully use lyrics, sounds, signs, and behaviors to express music and exchange this information with the audience. Students must tap into their “creativity” to create a unique, memorable performance. Finally, students preparing and participating in Cabaret Night used “critical thinking” by actively and skillfully analyzing music and performance, synthesizing critiques, and evaluating their performance through their experience.
What are the benefits that students get from Cabaret Night?
Students get the benefit of preparing for a solo and ensemble piece of their choice and receiving one-on-one vocal coaching from Mrs. Vargas and musical coaching from our extraordinary, singularly talented accompanist, Mr. Steve McColley. It also gives them the opportunity to share their talents with our school community in a public forum.
How can I buy tickets? Where do the proceeds from Cabaret night go?
Reserved tickets are available online through Thursday, April 26 at 12pm. All tickets are first-come, first-served. Additional tickets will be available at the door beginning at 6:15pm on the night of the event. (Cash or Credit Card sales.)
Doors open at 6:45pm on Friday, April 27.
Refreshments will be served.
Proceeds from Cabaret Night cover the costs of renting the tables, chairs, spotlights, musicians, and refreshments.
What can students participate in Cabaret night? How? Are there any other guidelines students must follow to participate (types of songs, etc)
Students must be enrolled in Girls’ or Boys’ Chorus to participate in Cabaret Night. All chorus members perform in Cabaret Night—it is a required yearly performance. Additionally, any chorus member may sign up to sing a solo and/or ensemble from any genre of music. 7th and 8th Graders can audition for an ensemble, UD students can audition to perform either a solo or ensemble.