DMAE Tri-M Benefit Concert Draws Crowd

Cabaret to Help Rohingya Refugees

DMAEs proud musicians

DMAE’s proud musicians

Music is about a community, and a big part of community is giving back to charity.

— Kyle Castillo

On June 7, 2018, the DMAE Tri-Music Club held a Cabaret for a Cause. This year the event was held to raise money for Muslim refugees of Myanmar. Twenty-five people performed in the event that was both sad and uplifting, and audience members felt the same emotions as the performers.

“There’s so many things about the Cabaret, it’s impossible to praise just one: the atmosphere, the food, the fact that we’re doing this for a good cause,” senior Kyle Castillo said. “Everything makes it all the more sweet,” he added.

Music teacher Sandra Melzter organized the event with the help of English teacher Mindy Rochman. The night was divided into four sets with ten minute breaks and ran from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dinner and dessert were included in the ticket price and everyone in the show contributed to the meal.

The Cabaret began with Ms. Meltzer not only congratulating the performers about to perform, but also explaining the “cause” for the fundraiser. She told of how there are currently hundreds of thousands of Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic group, who are the victims of savage persecution in their native homeland of Myanmar. Details were provided in the program in an editorial written by Jazz Band member Asim Qureshi.

“Genocide is inconceivable to me,” Ms. Meltzer remarked.

However, the seriousness of the cause did not dampen the spirits or energy of the performers, especially the jazz band. The seven-member group ignited the evening with an energetic rendition of Family Guy including bombastic trumpets and a strong bass and drum line. They also played “Livin la Vida Loca,” and  “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Yet they did not forget the cause of the event.

“Music is about a community, and a big part of community is giving back to charity,” Kyle, who was solo trumpet player of the jazz band, said.

Other performances included “Someone Like You” covered by Senior Diondra Curtis, “Location” by Darione Rogers, “Lilac Wine” by Bonnie Godoy, “Blackbird” by Jeo Dela Cruz, and “And So It Goes,” by Kyle Castillo. Each and every performer put their heart into every note.

Great turnout!

Highlights of the Cabaret were junior Veronica Papianni’s emotional rendition of “Maybe this Time” that moved her mother to tears, and freshman Sebin Bok’s and Jerry Wang’s dynamic violin and piano performance of “Praeludium and Allegro” that galvanized the audience into a standing ovation and loud applause. Junior Zoe Papianni inspired laughter in the audience with the fun song “I Could be Jewish for You,” and senior Paul Luna drew more tears when he played the guitar and sang an original song “Don’t Cry” about his painful separation from his sister.

“It’s quite hard for me. I wish I could see her,” he explained as he introduced the song.

Kyle and sophomore Enrique Cortezano concluded the night with a duet from the Greatest Showman called “The Other Side,” leaving parents, alumni (including Josh Castillo and Emily Dubon), teachers and students with a lasting good feeling.

Kyle and Enrico putting on a show

“In a way, this year’s Cabaret was different because it’s my last one. There’s the same objective, which is to make music and raise money, and that’s what the Cabaret has always been about. But leaving adds a tint of sadness,” Kyle said.

The Cabaret for a Cause was a considerable success. The Tri-Music Honor Society surpassed its goal of $1,000, and the show sold out completely in support of the Rohingya.