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Yule Have a Ball at The Ritz

Falling snow, floating candles, a magical feast, and an even more magical orchestra; Puttin’ on the Ritz is an annual fundraising evening of dinner and dance, organized by the students of the Kettle Moraine High School orchestras. On Saturday, February 6th, friends, family, and community members gathered in the high school gym for a night of snow and sparkle.

The Ritz is the only event during the school year that every member of the Chamber, Symphonic, and Concert orchestras join together as one ensemble. The combined group of about 100 musicians worked hard to perform an array of swing music, waltzes, and pop songs, such as It Don’t Mean A Thing, The Tennessee Waltz, and Rolling in the Deep underneath a Yule Ball theme, based on the fourth book of the Harry Potter series. Each year, a team of about 18 students join together in committees to plan out and put on a spectacular night of fun. From creating a budget to balance between catering and decorations, to sending out invitations and programming the light and sound boards for the stage, this year’s leadership team had their hands full. “The leadership system this year was different from past Ritzes. It was nice to have a head of executives and a head of committees,” Hannah Kasun, one of the executive leaders this year, explained. “It worked very well for collaborating and coordinating everything more efficiently, especially because this was the first year that we had the Ritz in February. Every year in the past, it’s been at the end of May.”

This year was even more different than years prior. Mrs. Beal, a KM Perform writing mentor and campus-wide english teacher, joined high school seniors Lukas Jaeger, Garrett Waite, and Lindsey Teuteberg in singing the vocals for each set. This was the first time that a non-music teacher had ever participated in the performance aspect of the Ritz. “I really enjoyed the singers this year,” raved Lorinda Koput, a regular Ritz attendee. “It was definitely a surprise to see Mrs. Beal on stage, and the seniors wowed me, as always. We have a very diverse and talented group of people within the Kettle Moraine orchestras. I always love coming to the Ritz to see it all showcased.”

By the end, the seniors congregated to the dance floor for the final song, in commemoration of the ending of their time as high school orchestra students. As they danced to their last song, it was safe to say the audience was awestruck. Puttin’ on the Ritz was a ball indeed, and participants can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year.

Ellie Koput
April, 2016