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Performing for a Trip to Italy

Students from several high schools raise money for Valencia High's choir.

Posted: February 26, 2008 4:10 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
A group of Italy-bound high school students may not yet know how to say "united in a common cause" in Italian, but they can certainly sing about it.

A student-run concert at Valencia High School on Friday night brought together singers from various local high schools for the single aim of raising money for the Valencia High School Choir to tour Italy next year.
Valencia High School, West Ranch High School, Saugus High School and Alemany High School were all represented by a rag-tag band of kids who just wanted to make the Italian trip a reality.

Too young to work, too old to sell Girl Scout cookies, they did the one thing they could all do well: sing.
Today, the Valencia High School Choir is that much closer to making it to Italy, thanks to money raised at the concert and thanks to one young man who had a vision and the courage to try something different.

Backstage Cabaret was the brainchild of Christian Guerrero, 15, of Valencia.

"I wanted to find a way to feature all my talented friends and their talents in one show," Guerrero told The Signal. "So, when I learned that the school was trying to raise money for a tour of Italy I wanted to use the talents of all my friends.

"It was the perfect opportunity."

Guerrero is no stranger to the limelight. He played Gaby Oritz in the 2000 Disney TV movie "Ready To Run" and starred in a couple of television commercials and, when he was 4 years old, was the poster boy (literally) for the Jack in the Box chain that published his image across the country and around the world.
"It went very well and it was a great turnout," he said about the variety show he directed, produced and choreographed.

He's been asked by choir teacher Christine Enns, he said, to direct a larger show with the same cast for more Italy fundraising in the fall.

Guerrero's talented troupe included: Aubrie Alexander, of Saugus; Lauren Gates, of Alemany, grand-daughter of legendary singer/songwriter David Gates of the band Bread; Kelsey Wells, of West Ranch and Spencer Byam-Taylor, Kaytie Holt and Julia Haimiwitz, all of Valencia.

It opened, understandably, with the song "Cabaret" and included many songs chosen for that theme including, "All That Jazz."

Simple but effective turn-around sets served as a stark backdrop for dynamic singing.

Songs performed by soloists included: "Like a Star" by Haimiwitz; "Hopelessly Devoted to You" by Gates; "I'm Not That Girl" by Alexander; "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Guerrero; "Popular" by Wells plus "No Good Deed" and "Defying Gravity" by Holt.

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