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January 24, 2013

FoMA's Cabaret Night celebrates 20th anniversary

Cooperstown Crier

---- — Cabaret Night, the annual fundraiser for Cooperstown’s Friends of Music and Art, will mark a major milestone Jan. 25: 20 years as a community tradition, according to a media release from the organization.

“We have a great evening planned. Everyone is welcome to come, enjoy the music and delicious food, and support the arts,” FoMA President Nancy Tarr-Wager said in the release.

The event, which includes Brooks’ barbecue and a silent auction, will be held at the Cooperstown High School cafeteria from 5 to 9 p.m. It showcases student, faculty and local musicians performing in every genre, from pop to classical to rock.

Hosted by emcee Aaron Idelson, this year’s 20th anniversary show features chanteuse Diane Ducey performing songs from her new CD, and the Acoustic Fusion band with CCS’s own Sal Salvaggio. Many young singers and musicians are on tap to perform duets and solos, including Liz Olmstead, Mary Iversen and Beckwith & Birch. Student ensembles taking the stage include the middle and high school jazz bands and the jazz rock choral group, Harmonia. A highlight of the show, third-grade students who received their first recorders from FoMA last fall will show off their new-found skills, the release stated.

Great food is just as much a part of the tradition as great entertainment. In addition to the Brooks’ barbecued chicken, the menu includes coleslaw, rolls, homemade applesauce and dessert. Dinner is served from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with  half- and quarter-chicken options for $10 and $7, respectively. Takeout is available.

To transform the school into an intimate cafe for the night, Kristen Karasek’s and Michelle Cleary’s middle and high school students have created artwork for every table. Guests will enter to the sound of Joey Katz and Kurt Ofer on jazz piano and be greeted by Brian Wrubleski, Cabaret Night’s genial maitre d’. A celebratory silver and emerald decorating theme marks the anniversary year.

Nearly all of the ingredients for the dinner are made possible through donations of local businesses.

Last year more than 300 meals were sold, successfully raising more than $2,000 for FoMA’s mission to support and strengthen music and arts education at CCS, according to the release.

Guests will also have the opportunity to bid on silent auction and Chinese auction items, all donated by local businesses and individuals. Gift certificates, champagne, opera and concert tickets, artwork, toys, jewelry, wine, music lessons, acting lessons, memberships, ceramics, Valentine’s Day flowers, a catered dinner, a chiropractic consult, tuxedo rental for prom and more will all be up for bid.

“FoMA appreciates all the items and services donated by the businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations,” Tarr-Wager said. “This event provides more opportunities for students to learn and achieve through the arts. Come to the Cabaret! It’s a great tradition for a great cause.”