Holiday Lights 2016-12-02 207
Local News

H-F Opa! Palooza benefit Jan. 21

Homewood-Flossmoor High School H-F Symphonic Band and H-F Viking Jazz Band members invite the community to join them for OPA! Palooza, a fundraising extravaganza set for 6 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the high school.

Students will be serving up Greek specialties in the South Building cafeteria. Friends and families are invited to sit and enjoy the evening’s delicious treats and hear student ensembles perform.

  Flutists Ruth McManus and Victoria D’Astici perform
  during the H-F High School band’s cookie-decorating
  fundraiser at the Homewood Science Center during
  the Holiday Lights festival Dec. 2, doing their part
  to help raise money for the spring-break trip to Greece.

  (Photo by Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

 

Homewood-Flossmoor High School H-F Symphonic Band and H-F Viking Jazz Band members invite the community to join them for OPA! Palooza, a fundraising extravaganza set for 6 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the high school.

Students will be serving up Greek specialties in the South Building cafeteria. Friends and families are invited to sit and enjoy the evening’s delicious treats and hear student ensembles perform.

The silent auction will take place throughout the evening in an adjoining cafeteria space. Later in the evening a live auction will be conducted. Items include four passes to DisneyWorld, and a Chicago White Sox Home Plate Club package for four with a special meet-and-greet event with Sox announcer Jason Benetti, an H-F graduate.

The annual fundraiser hosted by the H-F Fine and Performing Arts Parents Club will help cover a portion of the cost for the March 23 through April 2 trip to Greece.
 
Tickets are $8 in advance at hffpac.org or $10 at the door.

The auction is a great event for all ages, and it speaks volumes about the support the students have received from the community, explained OPA! Palooza co-chair Stephanie Wright. The music students
have traveled to more than 80 cities in 28 countries on five continents since the first H-F tour in 1970.

“H-F is the only high school in Illinois, that we know of, with such a record of international performances,” Wright said.

She gives special thanks to the OPA! Palooza sponsors: Lisa Grant Orthodontics, Chartwells, Kickert School Bus Line, Inc., Law Offices of Thomas E. Brabec, Jimmy John’s in Homewood and BAS.

The 70 students on the trip are busy preparing to serve as music ambassadors, with side trips to Greek historical sites, including the Parthenon, Acropolis, Mycenae, Epidaurus and Olympia, as well as a cruise to Saronic Gulf Islands.

Although H-F’s Band Director Sarah Whitlock has planned a full itinerary, students will have time to explore Greek neighborhoods, markets and museums.

Band members had to audition to be part of this tour. They are excited for what comes next. Many haven’t been out of the country before.

Percussionist Davis Young, a junior, started in band in fifth grade at Homewood’s Millennium School. He said “just the whole experience on a completely different continent” has raised his anticipation
level.

Senior Jeffrey Peppler, a bass clarinetist, knows he will draw attention with his spiked hair and nose ring. Peppler’s not sure what the punk scene is in Greece, but he said he’s “ready to express myself”
before he graduates and joins the Air Force. He’s thinking about trying out for a military band.

Flutists Ruth McManus, a junior, and Victoria D’Astici, a sophomore, are looking forward to performing in a new environment for people who may not be familiar with the American works they’ll play.

“Going on this trip is a really big deal,” Victoria said. She and Ruth started in orchestra at James Hart School in Homewood.

Band members have been busy as part of the marching band for football season, and then moved in to music for the holiday season. They will be in high gear after the new year learning the pieces to be
performed on tour.

If you can’t make it to OPA! Palooza, donations are being accepted in the name of an individual student, or for a pool account that will help reduce the cost of all students traveling. Information on how
to donate is at hffpac.org.

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