Slam dunk for Cougar performers at Santa Cruz Warriors game

Santa Catalina School singers and dancers took their talents on the road to perform at a Santa Cruz Warriors basketball game.

Lower and Middle School and Upper School students came together to perform at the March 18 game against the Iowa Wolves. The stands at Kaiser Permanente Arena were packed with members of the Catalina community and fans of the Warriors, an NBA minor league team. The arena holds about 2,500 people.

The Lower and Middle School glee clubs and Upper School choir sang the national anthem at center court before the game. There were 45 singers in all, a combination of four separate ensembles that spanned 12 grade levels. Later, the Middle School dance team joined Upper School dance club Accents for the halftime show. The 19 performers put on an energetic five-minute routine.

Lower and Middle School music teacher Katie Gaggini, who prepared the singers along with Mark Purcell in the Upper School, said she never thought she’d be conducting a grades 1-12 choir in front of so many people. “This was such a wonderful experience for everyone involved and I am so grateful for the opportunity for both myself and our kids,” she said. “They all did such a fantastic job—my heart was so proud!”

Dance teacher Nicole Cofresi choreographed the halftime show, which also included contributions by members of Accents. “While I could not relax the entire day, once I saw our students out there performing with such maturity and confidence, I could not help but feel overwhelmed with pride and joy,” she said.

Mrs. Cofresi began organizing Catalina’s appearance at the game since the Warriors first reached out to her in November. Students began rehearsing in January. “Leading up to the event involved the work of many people, hours of rehearsals, and colleagues placing immense support and belief in me to make this event happen,” she said.

The event offered a rare opportunity for both schools to come together in the community. Miss Gaggini noted that it was a great learning experience for her younger singers to perform with the older ones. “During our rehearsals it was magnificent to hear how our sound evolved and changed with the addition of more seasoned voices,” she said.

Added Mrs. Cofresi, “Being able to bridge the two campuses in a new way for the first time in front of so many strangers showed how much they can accomplish. I could not have been more impressed with their hard work, and seeing them having fun together on the court was priceless. This will hold a special place in my heart, and I hope we continue to find more ways to give our students great opportunities like this one.”

A mixed-age choir sings at center court in a basketball arena
Side view of Santa Catalia School dancers spread out across a basketball court.

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