The Gala supports the performing arts for 2016


Robyn Peters

Carlmont dance’s performance, “Inception,” stole the audience’s attention during The Black and White Gala.

Chesirae Barbano, Staff Writer

A  hush fell over the 208 patrons as the lights dimmed; the Black and White Gala had begun.

This performing arts fundraiser raised $13,000 by the end of the night.

Carlmont’s symphony orchestra drew their instruments closer to play, serenading the audience with the Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Hatvika — The Hope.” Then, Carlmont’s orchestra merged with Ralston’s chamber orchestra. The combined group finished with a medley from the musical “Chicago.”

Carlmont’s symphony orchestra director John Dabaldo said, “The Marriage of Figaro highlighted our string section, while the Hatvika piece highlighted the winds and percussion more.”

Dabaldo said, “The ‘Chicago’ medley was suggested by the Ralston orchestra director. Since the Ralston chamber orchestra performed with us on that piece, we wanted something that they felt comfortable playing. It was also a flashy, upbeat piece that would put the audience in an upbeat mood at the end of our performance.”

Carlmont’s choir also included middle school students from San Carlos’ Voicebox Choir in their performance.

The performance that called for the most students was dance. With the combination of intermediate and advanced dancers, they danced to “Hotel California,” “Inception,” “Dangerous,” “Crash,” “Bhangra,” and “Fan Favorites.”

Dance director Amy Secrist said she chose selections like “Hotel California” because each was “a greatest hit, which is the theme for our annual show in May.”

She chose pieces like “Inception” because “most of the kids already knew them, so it was easy just to review and re-stage.” She also chose certain pieces for the intermediate class to perform “because they were a good introductory project.”

While dance drew in many parents, the improv team garnered the most laughs. They entertained the audience with two games: last line and symposium.

The co-president of Improv, Blake Dubois, said they wanted “to do games that were simple enough to perform in front of an audience that most likely hadn’t seen us perform before, and that also gave a sort of sneak-peek as to what kind of stuff we do.”

The audience witnessed Dead Poet’s Society’s poem “Shut Up and Say Something” by Shane Koyczan and two scenes from “Much Ado About Nothing.” 

The gala featured a dramatic scene and a comedic scene from Act IV of “Much Ado.”

Assistant director of “Much Ado” Emily York said the two scenes “were a great representation of the acting and a little bit of the story. [The scenes] showed two really different sides of the show. We thought that would be fun for the audience to see both of those things, and we showed a couple of really great characters which is always fun as well.”

The proceeds from The Black and White Gala support the performing arts building.

Carlmont High School Arts Council Co-chair Robin Branch said, “It turned out great, and I think it was well  received.”