PIEDMONT -- The bright lights of Broadway come to Piedmont this Saturday as parents, students and alumni of Piedmont High School present a gala themed the "Best of Broadway" from 4:30 to 7 p.m.
There will be plenty of glitz and glamour as the event takes place in an elegant Piedmont home with top chef Jing Piser creating American Southern cuisine appetizers.
"The fundraising event benefits the music, drama and dance programs and includes entertainment by some wonderfully talented current and past students," said parent volunteer Rebecca Thornborrow.
A member of CHIME (Citizens Highly Interested in Music Education), which provides essential funding and volunteer efforts for the school's performing arts, Thornborrow and many other volunteers have been working countless hours to make this an event to be remembered. Piedmont High's popular DDG Jazz Quartet (also known as the Duck Duck Goose Quartet) will greet guests with jazzy renditions of Broadway tunes as they enter the stylish affair. Talented alumni Lauren Eigenbrode, Jessica Hardy and Zachary Piser will also perform with 2004 Piedmont grad Alex Hersler as emcee.
Composed of seniors Sebastian Mueller (saxophone), Josh Berl (bass) and Joey Armstrong (drums) as well as sophomore Xavier Prospero (guitar), DDG began as an offshoot of Piedmont High's jazz band.
"I have been most impressed with the level of commitment that these students have shown," said Piedmont High jazz band director Andria Mullan. "They have taken private lessons to help them achieve their current level of playing and have been an inspiration to other music students. Sebastian and Joey have really led this group and established a vision for playing jazz music."
Evidently, the results of their vision hit a chord with others in the community since the group has become a popular attraction at numerous events including the Alameda County Distinguished Women Awards Ceremony, at which they played for more than 500 people.
"Their energy and enthusiasm for what they are doing is infectious," Mullan added.
As the evening progresses, Eigenbrode, Hardy and Zachary Piser will take center stage as they perform songs from such Broadway musicals as "Cabaret," "A Chorus Line," "Cinderella," "Into the Woods" and "Wonderful Town," to name just a few.
The young Piedmont graduates have already amassed impressive resumes, with Eigenbrode having studied with Broadway legends Carolyn Marlow and Victoria Clark and performed at Radio City Music Hall as well as off-Broadway and Hardy having recorded for film composer John Williams and for the "Santa Buddies" soundtrack. Although only a sophomore at Northwestern University, Piser has performed in several musicals and sings with his a cappella group, the Northwestern Undertones.
Providing his own special brand of entertaining banter, emcee Alex Hersler will ensure a lively evening for attendees. The Northwestern graduate considers himself an actor, writer and "professional groovier." In addition to performing with many prominent local theater companies, Hersler produces commercials and performs in the San Francisco-based indie rock band "We Will Be Lions."
Tickets to the "Best of Broadway" gala Saturday are $100 each. For more information, visit http://chimeofpiedmont.org.
Tickets to CHIME's "Best of Broadway" fundraiser are $100 and can be obtained by going to www.chimeofpiedmont.org.