Copacabana showcases variety of local talent

The annual Copacabana oversaw a gathering of local talent in the Burkley Fine Arts


Sara Huss ’20 performs a piano piece for the public dinner prior to the Copacabana concert. The meal, along with the main event, featured several musical acts including an appearance by FHS’s Ukulele Club and the playing of a classic Czech polka song by various Band students. Photo by: B. Novotny

Center on Saturday, March 16. The evening featured performances from FHS’s music department, soloists and individually-formed groups along with the display of works from art students.

Potential acts auditioned prior to the event for a place in the show. Some individuals earned several spots for the evening. More preparation time was seen as a necessity for them. Dakota Gladson ’19 believes the time put in was crucial to a successful concert.

“Copa was not only a blast but it was such a privilege to work with the rest of the performers and MCs,” Gladson said. “I personally think that this was our smoothest and best Copa at least since I’ve been in high school. The alumni are missed and greatly praised, but I feel that we either did as good or better than years before!”


Brylee Yantz ’21 plays the saxophone alongside other members of the jazz band. Yantz also participated in two piano solos, a vocal and ukulele duet with Hailie Nicholson ’21 and pieces performed by the general high school band. Photo by: B. Novotny

Some performances featured a more personal undertone. Michaela Buchli ’19 and her mother, Karie Buchli, joined together to sing Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All” with former director Karen Grefe Reynolds utilized as a piano accompanist. Karie performed this piece in 1986 as a solo act for the very first Copacabana.

“When I talked to [Karie] about doing a piece for Copa, she brought up this idea of singing as a duet,” Michaela said. “It felt amazing to perform with my mom. She was so excited to be able to relive the moment and I was excited just to be a part of it.”

Other unique moments arose from the event. What resonated with performers and attendees varies from individual to individual. For Gladson, the unveiling of an original work [“Dream With Me”] that included audience participation and publicly asking Jasmine Snyder ’21 to the upcoming Prom stood out.

“One part of the night suck out to me the most, and that was when the entire audience


Jason Hughes ’20 and Lauren Patton ’20 carry out a skit between acts to keep the crowd entertained. Other emcees included seniors Toriann Likens, Joy Ondrak, Dakota Gladson, and Mikasa Lierman. Photo by: B. Novotny

stood up and sang with me,” Gladson said. “It took my breath away and made me so honored that I was in the presence of such a great audience. The ‘promposal’ was a big deal to me so I wanted it to be perfect. I no-joke practiced in the mirror so that I wouldn’t freeze up.”

Fairbury will host the District Music Contest April 11-12.