CHS choirs provide a blast from the past

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Neighbors | Abby Slanker.The Canfield High School choral department gave their audience a blast from the past by performing songs from 1950s to the 1990s during the Canfield Choral Boosters ‘Blast From The Past’ Dinner Theater on Jan. 28.


Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Two Canfield High School choral students performed a duet to the song “The Look of Love” during the Canfield Choral Boosters ‘Blast From The Past’ Dinner Theater on Jan. 28.


Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Brian Jones, general manager of Whitefire Grill, and Ashton McKendrick, Whitefire pastry chef, offered a taste of avocado mousse and pistachio cheesecake at the Canfield Choral Boosters ‘Blast From The Past’ Dinner Theater on Jan. 28.


Neighbors | Abby Slanker.Julian Testa (right) and Jodie Hanna (left) of the Canfield Gorant Chocolatier store provided a variety of chocolates for tasting at the Canfield Choral Boosters ‘Blast From The Past’ Dinner Theater on Jan. 28.


Canfield High School choir students gave their families and friends a blast from the past as they presented music from the 1950s to the 1990s during their ‘Blast From The Past’ Dinner Theater on Jan. 28. Under the direction of Kelly Scurich, student members of the concert choir, chamber ensemble and One Octave Higher ensemble rocked around the 50s, honored Motown, performed a 70s soul celebration and highlighted the awesome 80s.

To open the show and welcome their audience, the choirs performed the classic “Celebration.”

The choirs then rock and rolled right into 1950s song “Since I Don’t Have You” and moved into “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Rockin Robin.” They continued with 1950s hits “Peppermint Twist” and “Blueberry Hill.” The students closed the 1950s portion of the show with “Rock Around the Clock.”

Moving onto “Motown: The Musical,” the choirs performed “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch”), “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “Baby I Need Your Lovin’.” The singers continued with such classics as, “I Can’t Get Next to You,” “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” “I’m Losing You (I Know’), “My Girl” and “Please Mr. Postman.” Next, the choirs performed “Stop! In the Name of Love,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Do You Love Me?” The students closed the Motown portion of the show with “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand.”)

The choirs began their 1970s soul celebration with “I Just Want to Celebrate” and moved into “Higher Ground” then “Tell Me Something Good.” The students then performed “War” and “Sing a Song,” closing the 1970s portion of the show with “September.”

Moving onto the 80s, the choirs started with “The Look of Love,” and moved onto “Call Me” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” “Jessie’s Girl” was next, followed by “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This”) and “Our Lips are Sealed.” Next up was “Whip It,” “Mickey” and “Walk Like an Egyptian.” The choirs wrapped up the era of the 80s with “Everybody Have Fun Tonight.”

To end their performance of ‘Blast From the Past,’ the choirs blasted the audience with a show-stopping rendition of “Celebration.”

‘Blast From the Past’ ensembles included soprano - Emily Hofsess, Taylor Mead, Sydney Kinkade, Carmel Cerimeli, Allison Leone, Isabella Audia, Helen Neff, Mel Dahman and Diamond Williams; alto - Haley Tura, Lexi Denney, Samantha Morris, Ally Cooper, Ally Viano, Harmeet Kaur and Emma Kadilak; bass - Andrew Kern, Alex Kluchar, Jon Scurich and Gregory Halley; tenor - Dominic DeRamo, Sam Accordino, Elijah Mt. Castle and Alex Sanders.

„ÄÄThe show was directed and choreographed by Scurich, with accompanist Ronnie Sue Greagory, Courtney Larson on the keyboard, Nate Gelfand on bass and Stephen Ley on drums. Sound and lighting was headed up by Jeff Mentzer.

Prior to the performance, the Canfield Choral Boosters offered a ‘Blast From the Past’ tasting event in the high school cafeteria featuring local and regional restaurant specialties. Local caterers and restaurants offering up their specialties included A La Cart Catering, Belleria Pizza and Italian Restaurant, Chick-Fil-A, Davidson’s, Gorant Chocolatier, Handels, Inner Circle Canfield, Inspired Catering by Kravitz, Kim’s Confections, Peaberry’s Caf and Bakery, Piccadilly Parlor, Rulli Bros. Austintown, Suzie’s Dogs and Drafts and Whitefire Grill.

This is the first year Whitefire Grill has participated in the event.

“We knew this event would get us more exposure as we start up lunch and a new brunch, but we also really wanted to help out the choirs. I graduated from Canfield, so it’s a bit special to me and I wanted to help give back to the kids and the school,” said Brian Jones, Whitefire general manager.

Julian Testa, a supervisor at the Canfield Gorant Chololatier store, was also participating for the first time in the dinner theater and provided a variety of chocolates for tasting.

“We are celebrating our fifth year in Canfield and we wanted to get our name out there and knew this would be the place to do it. We are happy to help the Choral Boosters, too, and help support the kids,” Testa said.

T-shirt sponsors included LED3, Motters Music, Soup City Designs, Village Quilts, along with an anonymous donor. Graphic design was provided by Fred Mozzy and Printing Services were provided by Craig Olson of Olfield Graphics. The student’s dinner was provided by Chick-Fil-A and dessert was provided by Mary Ellen Campana of ME! Cupcakes. Centerpieces were designed and created by Katie Mead.

Several Canfield Choral Boosters members volunteered throughout the evening to ensure the success of the event.

“We could not have done this without our choir parent volunteers. Whatever needs to be done, they do. If someone has a specialty, and we need their help, they take it and run with it. They are all amazing,” said Clare Neff, Canfield Choral Boosters president.

The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the choirs. This dinner theater is presented by the Canfield Choral Music Department as an annual fundraising event and the biggest fundraiser of the year for the choirs.

“Choir is a unique academic program with many outside expenses, including the costs of choir robes for each student, fees for accompanists and competitions, out of state travel every other year, music rights and scholarships for seniors. The Canfield Choral Boosters organization was formed to defray these costs while helping to provide an excellent music education for every student,” Neff said.

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