The Gala is an annual event that stands as Orange Lutheran’s biggest and most extravagant fundraising night. This year, the affair has been transformed into The Premier. The night is centered around OLu parents and fashioned to impress, but it is the students and teachers of the school who make one highlight of The Premier truly exceptional.
Entering the decorated school, parents begin the night with a cocktail hour, move to a show and dinner, head to a silent auction, and finish the night with dessert. Megan Carvale, Director of Choral Music, explains the purpose of the night and said, “In the long run, it is going to get parents excited about the school that their children go to and make them more willing to give to the school because, in the end, the event is a fundraiser.” She believes that the most impressionable aspect of the night is the show put on by the arts program.
Fit with a professional live orchestra and lighting, the show features OLu students, alumni, and faculty. The process of creating the production is a production in and of itself. Carvale says, “Kevin Nadeau [Artist-in-Residence] produces the whole thing, so he picks all of the songs and the arrangements and then meets with Jamie Nadeau and me to confirm. Then, Jamie does the choreography and I cast the students that will sing.” These students include those in Honors Choir, Bel Canto, Vocal Jazz, and Creative Worship, who are all lead by Carvale; Daniel Vu, Associate Dir. of Choral Music; and Pam Hansen, Director of Worship Arts/Department Chair.
Jamie Nadeau, choreographer, explains that the students have been rehearsing since the first week of school. They practice both during class time and outside of school, pulling the whole show together during tech week, the week of the show. Isabella Hennigar, senior, is an Advanced Dance member and said, “I think the parents will really like the show, not only because it is fun and entertaining, but also because we put a lot of work into it.” She also jokes that she, personally, was excited “because we get food on the day of the show— yay!” Amariah West, sophomore, adds, “My favorite thing about the process is interacting with the other dance girls and bonding. That is the fun part.”
All of this dedicated effort yields a quality product. Carvale describes the breath-taking effect when the show comes together and said, “The whole entire performance tells a story about Orange Lutheran.” West agrees, relating that when the students, faculty, and alumni perform onstage, they are “resembling Jesus Christ.”
The professionalism of the performers endures, even through not-so-ideal conditions. Nadeau said, “One year, we were sitting for the show, watching three alumni singers. They decided to use fog that year, and all of the sudden, the fire alarms went off—loud. The performers just stood there and didn’t move. They acted like they didn’t hear anything. When the alarms stopped, they started their song and went on.” It is this performance mentality that creates such a special night; the shared love of the students, faculty, and alumni drives them to produce a truly magical night so that the Orange Lutheran community can continue to grow and inspire.
Photo Credits: lhsoc.org