Concerted effort


Student musicians, parents work dinner to help programs, pantry

LAPEL — With no labor cost and low food costs, the Lapel Music Department’s Cabaret in the Commons fundraiser struck the right chord from the start.

And in the end, as usual organizers said, it ended on a high note.

“We did end up making enough money to give each of the groups — the food pantry, the show choir and the jazz band — $750,” choir director Jeannine Terhune said.

Story continues below photos.

The annual event took place Thursday, March 9, in the high school commons area, which was set up to look like an Italian restaurant dining room.

About 200 people attended the dinner and show, while others sat around the perimeter just to see the performance.

The Lapel Show Choir, which has 34 members, served a salad and entree, while the combined Frankton-Lapel Jazz Band performed; then the groups switched roles, and the jazz group, which has about 40 members and is directed by Toni Bays and Eric Bailey, served dessert while the show choir sang and danced.

The performance was about hour long, divided equally between the two music groups, and featuring “all different kinds of music.

“It was really nice,” Terhune said. “It was very relaxing and very, very enjoyable.”

A choir parent and a staff of helpers prepared food — including spaghetti and meat sauce — and show choir parents made the desserts, Terhune said.

“Our cost for food was minimal,” she said.

The dinner and show cost $15, while the show alone costs $5. Some of that money will be put to good use as early as Friday, Terhune said.

“Show choir is using their money to help pay for the trip they’re taking this week,” she said. “We are headed for Chicago. “

The group will start its road trip adventure with music convocations “to promote music in the schools,” Terhune said.

It will include stops at Sheridan Elementary School and Caston High School in Indiana.

Later, the group has another two convocations at Lincoln Middle School in downtown Chicago.

On Friday night, the travelers will be we’re going to a banquet at Drury Lane Theatre, and then seeing the musical “A Chorus Line.”

The show choir returns to Lapel on Saturday.

Terhune said she’s not sure exactly where the jazz band’s funds will go, but they will be used to help fund a music-related venture of some kind, such as the planned trip to Disney World for a music program there.

Diane Mendenhall, director of Lapel Community Food Pantry, said the money it receives “will go toward purchasing food for the families that we serve.”

“Right now, we’re in a very good place financially,” Mendenhall said. “It just enhances our ability to continue serving.”

Mendenhall said the the elementary and middle schools also conduct food drives, donating hundreds if not thousands of pounds of food each year.

With the added cash, “we can purchase more healthy proteins” such as ground beef, she said.

Terhune said he Lapel High School Music Department is done with fundraisers for the year but still has several performances coming up: There will be variety show in early May involving the whole department, including band and show choir, and a spring show choir program is set for 7 p.m. May 20.

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