James Caldwell Music Marathon Entertains Crowds While Giving them a Preview of This Weekend's Shrek Musical (via The Alternative Press)

West Essex —Arts & Entertainment Top Stories

James Caldwell Music Marathon Entertains Crowds While Giving them a Preview of This Weekend's Shrek Musical

Carolyne Volpe Curley

Friday, March 21, 2014 • 9:20pm


WEST CALDWELL, NJ - On Saturday, March 1, large musical groups as well as small ensembles played and sang a variety of music to raise money for this year's James Caldwell High School Music Department’s four-day trip. All monies raised will go to supplement the costs involved with bringing over 100 dedicated students and advisors on a tour to Gettysburg and Baltimore.

“All of the groups will perform in Gettysburg and Baltimore, but we will also do some sightseeing,“ commented junior Kris Schneider, a member of the chorus.

Members of the JCHS band, chorus, and orchestra joined with rock bands, and instrumentalists in performing choral pieces, jazz numbers and recital duets to an audience that followed them from room to room. Musical acts were performed in the JCHS Center for Performing Arts, the high school lobby and music department facility rooms. In between the main productions, individual and small group ensembles also entertained the crowds.

The evening culminated with a short preview from the cast of Shrek. They performed two numbers and even shared a guest appearance by the purple dragon. Shrek is being presented this weekend at the high school. Tickets are still available for performances on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online here. The production is directed by James Caldwell's Theatre Teacher Jensyn Modero.
cast and pit dragon by Evelyn Brooks.jpg
The cast of Shrek  Credit: Evelyn Brooks

During the Shrek performance, the instrumentalists accompanying the performers were conducted by Caldwell-West Caldwell music teacher David Modero.
pit conductor.jpg
Credit: Evelyn Brooks

Music Marathon Program
The full program included:
  • 11am:      Children’s Hour
  • 12pm:      JCHS ‘Blue’ Band
  • 1pm:        JCHS ‘White’ Band
  • 2pm:        JCHS Orchestra
  • 3pm:        JCHS Jazz Band
  • 4pm:        JCHS Women’s Chorus & Concert Chorus
  • 5:20pm:  ‘Shrek’ preview, the JCHS spring musical performance

One of the highlights of the afternoon was John Franek giving an impressive and memorable performance of an improvisational modern classical piano piece he composed.

James Caldwell High School Senior John Franek at the 2014 Music Marathon
Credit: Carolyne Volpe Curley

The high school’s Jazz Band performed a selection of uplifting show pieces. jazz 2.jpg
Credit: Carolyne Volpe Curley

As part of the recital performances, eighth grader Ken Axe played the violin while his classmate Jordan Whiting accompanied him on the piano.  
axe whiting by Evelyn Brooks.jpg
Ken Axe and Jordan Whiting   Credit: Evelyn Brooks

The "Women of Note” ensemble is made up of a group singers who are accepted only after audition. They performed several pop hits accompanied by dance movements.
women of note by Evelyn Brooks.jpg
Credit: Evelyn Brooks

One of the high school's rock bands performed their numbers for a crowd gathered in the hallway.
band.jpg
Credit: Carolyne Volpe Curley

The “Concert Chorus,” a mixed ensemble of males and females, performed a medley of Grease hits.cast grease medley by Evelyn Brooks.jpg
Credit: Evelyn Brooks

Junior Dante Savanello teamed with senior Emily Arney, while seniors Jacob Benjamin Ploch and Nicole Palazzo also shared the spotlight.
hairspray medley by Evelyn Brooks 2  .jpg   hairspray medley by Evelyn Brooks.jpg
Dante Savanello and Emily Arney                   Jacob Benjamin Ploch and Nicole Palazzo
Credit: Evelyn Brooks                                     Credit: Evelyn Brooks

The “Women's Chorus” presented a medley of songs from the musical Hairspray.
group 1.jpg
Credit: Carolyne Volpe Curley

Violinists Emma Stevens and Diana Abraham took part in accompanying the pieces from Shrek.
violinists by Evelyn Brooks.jpg
Emma Stevens and Diana Abraham  Credit: Evelyn Brooks

Ron Goltsch, the president of the James Caldwell High School Music and More Booster Club, commented, “Everyone in the music and theater arts programs should be very proud of the job they did with the Music Marathon. The performances were wonderful. The decorations were simply amazing. The work everyone put into both setup and teardown was also impressive.” Goltsch said that he and his wife were part of the original Music Marathon back in 1983. “We have been to over a dozen and this was simply the best one yet. It was a night few will soon forget.”