- West Orange Public Schools
Fourth Annual West Orange High School “Broadway Night” Goes Virtual
WEST ORANGE, NJ – The popular West Orange High School “Broadway Night” made its virtual debut on March 25, much to the delight of students, family, and staff who missed the annual excursion on to the streets and theaters of Broadway. In conjunction with the event, the Glee Choir raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids.
Glee Choir Director John Hellyer was enthusiastic about the production, which featured current and former members.
“I started the Glee Choir at WOHS in 2015, so having alumni from 2016-2020 be a part of this year’s show was incredibly meaningful,” began Hellyer.
“Back in the fall, “From Now On” was playing in my car as I was running an errand. I had a vision of using that song as the grand finale of the concert and asking alumni to join us. I'm so grateful to those who were able to participate and add their voices and presence to the project.”
“As performing arts teachers we often have students in our classes and activities for all four years of school. That builds some very strong bonds, so I am connected to many of our alumni through social media, etc... When I put the word out for their participation, they were happy to oblige. We even have three siblings, the Florendos, in one video: a freshman, a senior and class of 2019 graduate,” he explained.
Hellyer had a lot to say about his current students as well.
“All of the solos, duets, and trios were either selected for those particular students or requested by the student to sing. They recorded and edited their own videos either on their own or with help from other students. Two students who really went above and beyond to help the others were Giancarlo Minervino and Morgan Lanzot-Woodridge. They also put together our final video, “From Now On.”
For the full group videos the students recorded themselves using the Flipgrid app and then those videos were edited by Mt. Pleasant music teacher, Ms. Teresa Gotanco, a great asset to the performing arts staff this year. Seventh grade student Kyan Bashkoff performed with high schooler Madison Gough in "Come to My Garden," from "The Secret Garden.
“None of this could have been possible, though, without the amazing work of our Media Tech guru, Ms. Lauren Grof-Tisza. She is a gem and has really been a godsend to the district, especially this past year. She's also an incredible performer and I'm grateful for her work and that she contributes her talents to these events,” Hellyer added.
“I'm incredibly proud of the work of all of my Glee Choir students. Their enthusiasm and commitment, as well as their talent, was on full display,” he concluded.
A Facebook fundraiser was set up by district Social Media Coordinator Perry Bashkoff to donate to the “Broadway Cares/Equity for Aids” fundraiser and nearly $2,000 has been raised to date. The fundraiser will be open through April 8. Donations can be made here.
Next up on the WOHS Performing Arts calendar is “The Shows Must Go On,” a live Spring Musical to be held at the Oscar Schindler Performing Arts Center on April 23 and 24.
View the WOHS virtual "Broadway Night" here:
BROADWAY NIGHT 2021 REPERTOIRE and PERFORMERS
- “Don’t Stop Me Now” - GLEE CHOIR with James Tibang, solo (WE WILL ROCK YOU - Music & Lyrics by Freddie Mercury, arr. by Mark Brymer)
- “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” (ANNIE GET YOUR GUN Music & Lyrics by Irving Berlin ) - Lance Zeligson & Hannah Florendo
- “What Baking Can Do” (WAITRESS Music & Lyrics by Sara Bareilles) - Delia Kravits
- “Dear Theodosia” (HAMILTON Music & Lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda) - Aden Lugo & Giancarlo Minervino
- “Poor, Sweet Baby” (SNOOPY Music & Lyrics by Larry Grossman & Hal Hackaday) – Abigail Insana with Thomas Insana, piano
- “Been a Long Day” (HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING Music & Lyrics by Frank Loesser) - Shane Donagher, Nakhayla Green & Joelle Robertson
- “I Cannot Do it Alone” (CHICAGO Music & Lyrics by John Kander & Fred Ebb) – Valentina Pappano
- “The Color Purple” - GLEECHOIR with Alicia Germain & Veena Steaphen, solos
- “Come to My Garden” (THE SECRET GARDEN Music & Lyrics by Marsha Norman & Lucy Simon) – Madison Gough and Kyan Bashkoff
- “Fades Away” (THE PERFECT FIT Music & Lyrics by Joshua Turchin) – Rocio Urquia & Avery Suriano-Garland
- “Rewrite the Stars” (GREATEST SHOWMAN Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul) - James Tibang & Alicia Germain
- “Just Breathe” (THE PROM Music & Lyrics by Chad Beguelin & Matthew Sklar) Elena Hause
- “Corner of the Sky” (PIPPIN Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz) - Joseph Florendo
- “Kind of Woman” (PIPPIN Music & Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz) - Morgan Lanzot-Woodridge
- “Back to Before” (RAGTIME Music & Lyrics by Stephen Flaherty & Lynn Ahrens) –Maria Nalieth
- “I Am What I Am” (LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Music & Lyrics by Jerry Herman) - Justin Peters
- “She Used to be Mine” (WAITRESS Music & Lyrics by Sara Bareilles) - Cookie
- “From Now On” (THE GREATEST SHOWMAN Music & Lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul ) - MR. JOHN HELLYER with GLEE CHOIR & ALUMNI
March 26, 2021