Audience crowds the auditorium for the Black & White Gala


Connie Yi

Emcee George Metroupolis shares his story of how performing arts affected his life.

Connie Yi, Staff Writer

After a three year absence, the Carlmont Arts Council welcomed the return of the Black & White Gala last weekend.

On Saturday, the Carlmont Performing Arts Center presented the event, which featured all four of the performing arts departments, instrumental music, drama, dance and choir.

Toby McMillen and Lisa Costello, the co-chairs of the Carlmont Arts Council, brought back the Gala after three years.

“After three years it feels fantastic to be back. It is very exciting to bring together all of our performing arts departments and [showcase some] of the most talented students we have” said Costello, mother of a choir student.

The Gala was brought back to raise money for the materials needed for the performing arts center.

Lieven Smart, director of Symphony Orchestra, said, “I am excited. I hope my students practice a lot in such a short amount of time, and I hope there is a packed auditorium for the Gala.”

“I am a bit worried about my students learning all their lines before the Gala, but I believe in them, and I know we will do a great job” said Nancy Martin, drama director.

Ame Secrist, dance director, said, “It is stressful adding performances for the Gala in such a short period of time but having two alumni students choreographing dances for the advanced group takes half the weight off my shoulders.”

“Preparing for the Gala is stressful but [also] fun and exciting. I learned from my mistakes in the past Galas and [will] change to make the event better,” said Genevieve Tep, choir director.

The Gala requires preparation from participating students as well. For some, it is stressful because of the short period for learning music, moves, and lines.

“It was a lot of work for just one night, but it was still very fun. I had a good time,” said Kirsten Clark, a sophomore in Advanced Dance.

Senior Lauren Pittock, who was involved in drama and choir, said, “Preparing [for the Gala] actually wasn’t too tricky in the short amount of time, in fact preparing was actually quite relaxed.”

Ashley Cheung, a senior clarinetist in Symphony Orchestra said, “I really like the Gala because it gives people an insight to what all the different groups do.”

Thanks to McMillen and Costello, this event for Carlmont’s Performing Arts Center is back.

“Performing arts [inspire] students to be disciplined, to be focused, and to learn life skills that they can carry on and use in the future. I get very nervous when I get up on stage. They do it and make it look so easy. I find that very rewarding [to support that. It] is what inspires me to be involved and stay involved,” said Costello.