Yosemite High School's gymnasium was transformed into a classy club Saturday night for a grand community party, attended by about 400 community members who gathered together around tables draped with white linen to enjoy 25 stellar musical performances from YHS band and choir students.
The Fourth Annual "Nite on the Town" performances, led by Yosemite Unified School District music instructors Randy Hyatt and Christel Biasell, flowed seamlessly from stage to stage -- a new musical talent spotlighted every few minutes.
"I think people who have never come to this event don't know the professionalism and talent that we have in Oakhurst," said Bob Rose, principal of Coarsegold Elementary School.
"Music is everything," said 92-year-old Mary-Gene "Genie" Krieghoff about the power of events like Nite on the Town, a fundraiser for the YHS music program. "It's the common denominator for everything in life. It's a heart beat."
Saturday's music got quite a few hearts beating to different tunes, listening to fun performances like a Queen rendition of "Bohemian Rhapsody" via sax quartet; heartfelt melodies, including the Chamber Singers performance of the well-loved, "Hallelujah," accompanied by piano; and spicy dance beats, like the chamber's "Chili Caliente," accompanied by piano and percussion.
Combined bands, ensembles, choirs and soloists rocked the house throughout the evening. The variety even extended to poetry, thanks to a recitation by David Nobles.
"I love the fact that Nite On The Town is more than a musical concert, it is a grand, musical event with plenty of pizazz," Biasell said. "Our hope is that the audience left the performance with smiles on their faces, and with a desire to return for next year's event."
The Nite on the Town event also included more than 50 silent auction items and top-notch desserts, baked and served by YHS ROP Culinary Arts students taught by Dena Boortz, director of Child Nutrition Services for Yosemite Unified.
"The community we have here in the school is really important," said Yosemite Unified Superintendent Jim Sargent. "It's a fantastic event."
"We are blessed with a wonderful, giving community," Hyatt said. "The support of our community is amazing. They really love the kids and show their support with their attendance and financial support."
"We need to make sure music is kept in the schools," said guitar teacher Kirk Moulin with Yosemite Entertainment, who attended the event to support music education and his wife Monika Moulin, a Yosemite Unified school board trustee and singer who served as master of ceremonies Saturday.
There is an important tie between music and academics, and learning to play an instrument also teaches discipline, Kirk said.
"Randy Hyatt is really great with the kids," said Sharon Ramos, a Coarsegold mother of two YHS band students. "He shows them how great music is, and my son has excelled so much since fifth grade. He loves it."