Summit High music department hosts ‘Dancing & Delectables’ fundraiser |

Summit High music department hosts ‘Dancing & Delectables’ fundraiser

Special to the Daily
Special to the Daily |

If you go

What: “Dancing & Delectables” a Summit High School Instrumental Music Department spring concert and fundraiser

When: Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 11; music starts at 6

Where: Silverthorne Pavilion, 400 Blue River Parkway, Silverthorne

Cost: Admission is free (donations suggested), and dinner, desserts and raffle tickets will be available for purchase, cash or check only

More information: Contact Bertie Canepa Reifsteck at (608) 963-4503 or Jen Stachelski at (303) 667-4248

The Summit High School Instrumental Music Department will present “Dancing & Delectables,” an evening of music and dance at the Silverthorne Pavilion on Monday, May 11. Entertainment will include the Summit High School symphonic band, orchestra and jazz band, led by Linda Shea, director of instrumental music, plus swing dancing and special musical guests.

The event is part concert, part fundraiser and part send-off for Shea, who will be leaving Summit High School for Prague at the end of the school year to pursue a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and perform in Europe.

“I’ll definitely miss the students,” Shea said of her departure. “I think they are great people, and I really enjoy having the opportunity to make music with them, to pick fun music to work on, challenging and exciting music. … I like the ability I’ve had here at Summit High School to be creative and innovative with programming and opportunities with performances.”

Musical program

The concert will begin at 6 p.m. with the symphonic band, which will perform three rousing pieces: “Stars and Stripes Forever Trio,” “Sparks” and “Prairie Dances.”

“The orchestra will follow them,” Shea said, “and we have a fabulous violinist who’s a senior, Ani Casabonne, and she’s going to perform a solo, ‘Meditation’ from ‘Thais,’ her senior highlight. She’s an incredible violinist. And the orchestra will also play a fiddle tune and a jig that hopefully people will dance to.”

Moving the performance out of the Summit High auditorium and into the Silverthorne Pavilion allows more space for dancing, which is encouraged not only with the two orchestral pieces — “The ‘Bark’ Gigue” and “Foggy Mountain Breakdown,” by Earl Scruggs — but throughout the entire evening, whenever the mood might strike.

The jazz band will follow the orchestra, emphasizing swing tunes from “New York, New York” to “Jump, Jive and Wail,” which will hopefully encourage people to get out on the dance floor with Thekla and Merle Schultz. Three years ago, the pair, both avid swing dancers, came up with the idea for “Dancing & Delectables,” which this year has been combined with the spring instrumental program. The past few years, the Schultzes wrote grants that allowed for the use of the Silverthorne Pavilion as a venue for the event and have also taught swing dancing at the high school.

“They will have a segment where they will showcase their moves,” said Bertie Canepa Reifsteck, who helped organize the event and has two sons in the Summit High instrumental music program. “The high school students who have learned swing dance through them will be encouraged to get on the floor and let ’er rip.”

The music continues with special guest performer Dennis Reifsteck, a local band leader and father of two Summit High orchestra students, and members of his professional band, The Swing Crew, winter stalwarts at The Last Lift Bar in Keystone. A handful of high school musicians will take turns sitting in with The Swing Crew, with a play-as-they-go program of improvised solos and musical arrangements announced from the stage.

“There’s a drive on my part to involve the high school students,” Reifsteck said of sharing his musical expertise and passion. “It’s what I do for a living, so if I give them a chance through one song or two songs to let them experience what’s going on up there, and it’s a lot of fun for me, too.”

Support the program

Shea said in the past three years, the “Dancing & Delectables” fundraiser has annually collected in the ballpark of $3,000, but through donation requests, food and dessert sales and a raffle featuring items from local businesses, organizers are hoping to push that number closer to $4,000.

“We’re going out into the community to raise awareness of the things that are going on in the program here at the high school and to be able to show off the talent and skill level of the students and, hopefully, help raise some money to help continue the program,” Shea said.

“The more money that we can afford to give scholarships to help pay for private lessons or bring people in to do master classes for the kids, really is inspiring for them, and money is also going to go toward buying music and possibly buying instruments for next year.”

Shea said she encourages the community to come out and hear Summit High’s talented musicians and help support the music program.

“It’s really true, it takes a village, and I’m happy to be a part of the village,” Reifsteck said.

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