A night to remember | Two Decades of Kids and Counting | Sally Torbey | Palo Alto Online |


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By Sally Torbey

A night to remember

Uploaded: Oct 3, 2016

This weekend the Performing Arts Center at Palo Alto High School was officially opened with A Gala Celebration of the Performing Arts, and it was a night to remember!

Over 300 students performed in a wonderful show featuring the Paly bands, orchestra, choirs and theatrical groups. The entire production was an absolute delight, an impressive display of talent and organizational prowess of all the students, teachers, volunteers and administrators involved, and a heartfelt and appreciated “thank you” to the community for its support of our schools and the performing arts.

We were reminded during the evening of the important role the performing arts play in so many students’ lives. Camaraderie and friendships develop through the uplifting and life-affirming experiences of singing, playing an instrument, and acting. Being part of a community working together to create something amazing is heady and inspiring.

There were countless wonderful moments of fun, laughter, and awe during the evening. Early on there was the band’s rousing rendition of the Paly fight song. The event concluded with the orchestra, choir and theatre students’ finale of Broadway favorites, including a ukulele-playing Rob Minkoff leading a sing-a-long medley of The Lion King. In between were performances by award-winning thespians, the jazz band, an improvisational comedy team, a capella groups, stand out soloists, and another celebrity guest, Alex Nee ‘09, whose talents many of us have been enjoying since his days at Jordan Middle School. The audience loved it all.

The new theatre is a remarkable venue, beautifully supporting and presenting the performances. During Eric Whitacre’s piece “Cloudburst", percussionists and singers were dispersed in the aisles around the theater. The voices came from everywhere and nowhere. The music flooded the theater, and we were immersed in the claps of thunder and pattering rain passing over us.

It was an unforgettable and moving evening of entertainment, entirely worth of the spectacular setting of the Performing Arts Center!