Cabaret-themed benefit profitable for choral society


‘What good is sitting alone in your room?

Come hear the music play.

Life is a Cabaret, old chum,

Come to the Cabaret.

— Lyrics from “Cabaret”

Enlisting the talents of Julie Jones and Brad Wilcutts to orchestrate an evening of musical entertainment made for a lively, successful fundraiser, said organizer Cheryl Hair.

Altogether, 100 guests came to Jacobi’s Café for the dinner show Nov. 3 that benefited Walla Walla Choral Society, a group in which I am quite active, have loads of fun and enjoy immensely for the camaraderie and challenging, varied music.

After expenses, WWCS netted $3,460, which will be applied to the cost of putting on concerts during its season.

“Come to the Cabaret” featured a talented group of singers that entertained with skits and nightclub-style music, such as “The Night They Invented Champagne” and “Cabaret.”

“The audience roared with laughter at the antics of Michael Blackwood, Peter Anderson, Brad Willcuts and Sarah Thomson,” Cheryl said. Kristin Vining provided piano accompaniment.

WWCS singers Audrey Renaud, Brenden Koch and Stefanie Crumpacker-Flerchinger serenaded during dinner with such standards as “Blue Skies” and “Always.”

A signature Italian buffet and dessert table came from Jacobi’s kitchen. Party Lite consultant Debbie Abrams ramped up the atmosphere by decorating the room in black and red.

Among the objects featured in the silent auction was a seascape painted specifically for the occasion and donated by Dan Dunn.

“A nice mix of items was generously donated by local businesses and individuals. The balloon pop was an exciting highlight.

Thirty-four balloons containing gift certificates donated by local restaurants were quickly bought and popped,” Cheryl said.

Now in its 33rd season, the society has from 60-90 area folks who enjoy singing a variety of music genres with up to four concerts per year.

Its mission is to “bring quality choral music to the valley and be a positive sound in the community.”

In the season’s first concert, singers saluted the great pop music composers of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s with “A Trip Down Tin Pan Alley,” directed by Christine Janis.

On Dec. 10 Paul Dennis will direct singers in the concert, “On This Shining Night.”

It will feature familiar and unfamiliar festive holiday tunes. Whitman College’s a cappella group The Testostertones will make a guest appearance.

“A Gwyneth Walker Portrait” will pay tribute to one of today’s famous composers, Cheryl said.

The choir will debut a piece commissioned from and written by Gwyneth specifically for Choral Society, in honor of founding society member, the late Bill McCaw.

The composer will be in Walla Walla for the March 17 concert in Cordiner Hall, directed by Christine. Guest performances will be from Rogers Adventist School Choir, directed by Terri Koch, who on occasion accompanies WWCS singers.

WWCS will collaborate in its final concert of the season with the Walla Walla Symphony in a performance of Verdi’s “Requiem.”

It coincides with the composer’s 200th birthday and will be May 14 in Cordiner Hall.

For more information about Choral Society and its performances online see, on Facebook at wallawallachoralsociety or call 509-386-2445.

Walla Walla High School Debate teammates placed first in individual events and first overall making it “another great weekend competing in Yakima at the “Ike Invite” Debate Tournament,” said their coach, Jean Tobin.

They competed against nine other schools from District 5/6 and placed second in debate to Pasco High School.

Standouts include sophomore Ricky Entrop, who won three of his four Lincoln-Douglas rounds and made the semi-finals. He lost to a Pasco competitor who won the tournament in the L-D novice division.

Sabine Vernon moved up to the senior division in editorial commentary, “which is a very competitive event,” Jean said, placed first in two of the rounds and earned a third-place finish overall.

Gerrod Peck and Ben Parsons also moved up a division to senior and placed third. “Technically Gerrod moved up two divisions. This is his first year of competition so he qualifies as a novice,” Jean said .

“I’m also very proud of Marisol Beck for taking top presiding officer, an award in congressional debate that Wa-Hi has never won before.”

Bryan Preston and Sean Hamilton switched over to compete in public forum as policy debate was not offered. Despite having little preparation time, they finished second in the senior division. They lost in finals to Wa-Hi competitors Rosa Tobin and Calvin Brigham.

The teams results follow:

Public Forum Senior Division: third place, Gerrod Peck and Ben Parsons; fourth place, Kera Parsons and Konor Clark.

Lincoln-Douglas Senior Divison: Kendall Dunovant, second; L-D Novice Division, Ricky Entrop, fourth.

Super Congress Senior Division: Kate Kuhlmann, Emma Gregoire, Jennifer Cho, Marisol Beck. Marisol placed third overall and was first Presiding Officer. Super Congress Novice Division: Eric Cho, Bryan Vargas-Lopez, Mary Adamski; Eric placed second overall.

Editorial Commentary Senior: Marisol, second; Sabine, third.

Extemporanous Senior: Kendall Dunovant, second; Rosa, third; Bryan and Sean, tied for fifth. Extemporanous Novice: Mary, fifth.

Dramatic Interp Senior: Jennifer, fourth. Dramatic Interp Novice: Mattie Bialozor, second.

Dual Interpretive Senior: Hope Grant-Herriot and Kurt Funk, second.

Expository Senior: Hope, first, Kate fourth, Anna Apostolidis-Morefield, fifth. Expository Novice: Ricky, first.

Oratory Senior: Emma, first; Marisol, second.

Interpretive Reading Senior: Kera, second. Interpretive Reading Novice: Cora Cole, first.

Impromptu Senior: Kendall , second; Emily Prull, third; Rosa, fourth. Impromptu Novice: Mattie tied for fifth.

Tall Tales Senior: Calvin Brigham, third; Hope, fourth.

Humorous Interp Senior: Anna, first. Humorous Interp Novice: Gerrod, fourth.

Parent volunteers who helped judge were Vanessa Prull, Annie Capestany, Mary Bialozor and Heidi Brigham.

The next tournament, a smaller one with half the teams in the district competing, will be Dec. 8 in Walla Walla.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or 526-8313.


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