Starting the Year Off On a Good Note

Story originally published on Aug. 23 2016 on lakecentralnews.com

The band and choir students are no strangers to change. With a new auditorium and Performing Arts Wing, they have the tools necessary to create successful performances. However, both classes experienced a change that was shocking: the departure of band director Chris Harmon and the retirement of Sandy Hobbs.

“I don’t think [having new directors] is going to affect anything. It’s going to be a little bit different, but we have a strong program and the [students] didn’t change. It’s just going to be a new director, we’ll be fine,” Adam Gustas (12) said.

Chris Harmon, who has been with the Lake Central Tribe of Pride for over a decade, has been replaced by David Nelson, former assistant director of the band. Many are excited about this new change.

“[Mr.] Nelson is so lenient. It’s definitely a more positive environment, which is what [Mr. Nelson] is really striving for,” Megan O’Donnell (11) said.

The retirement of Mrs. Hobbs was bittersweet. Many will remember the work she has done over the years. Mr. Nathaniel Jones, the new choir director, has already started making changes to benefit the program.

“The other day in class, [Mr. Jones] had us do this warm-up, and he added different voices at different times. We were all one big choir at the end [and] it was super cool,” Gustas said.

With a start of a new school year, change is certain to come. The marching band will be performing at half-time at this Friday’s football game, and the choir should have a concert once every nine weeks.

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A Night to Remember

Story originally published on April 19, 2016 on lakecentralnews.com

On Friday, April 15, seniors gathered at Villa Cesare in Schererville, Ind., for Senior Banquet, a night filled with music, awards and food. It is a dance specifically for seniors and, instead of elaborate dresses and tuxes, seniors are encouraged to dress up in costumes.

“Since we didn’t have to get dressed up like Prom, we were just ourselves in silly costumes. It was silly just as much as it was fun,” Melanie Stepanovic (12) said.

The students were dressed up as anything from the “Phineas and Ferb” crew to the Barden Bellas from “Pitch Perfect.” An assortment of awards were handed out during the night.

“[I won] One-in-a-Million, Best Costume and me and Katarina [Radoja (12)] won Couple That Should Have Been. I was Frozone [from ‘The Incredibles’], so it was pretty fun to dress up like him,” Romel Spight (12) said.

Compared to other school dances, Senior Banquet is more laid back. Students look forward to seeing the costumes people come up with.

“My favorite part about the night was seeing how much work everyone put into their costumes and how creative everybody was,” Lindsey Gercken (12) said.

Senior Banquet provides a way for students to spend time with the people in their grade for one of the last times. New memories were made that night on the dance floor.

“It’s just [for] the seniors so you know most of the people there. It’s not as crowded [as other dances] so there’s more room to dance with all my friends. It was a good time with all the seniors,” Spight said.

A Package Deal

Photo submitted by: Trisha Caruso

Story originally published on 03/16/16 on lakecentralnews.com

With prom right around the corner, girls everywhere are looking from store to store for the perfect dress. Eco Chic Boutique is a dress store located in Dyer, Ind., that offers quality dresses at an affordable price.

“We offer a beautiful boutique style atmosphere to shop in. Just because you are shopping previously owned dresses or clothing doesn’t mean you have to feel like it. [You can] shop designer labels without the price. We put fun and affordable back in fashion,” Trisha Caruso said.

This boutique is often a hotspot, especially around big events like Prom and Winter Formal. Whether you are selling a dress or buying one, Eco Chic can fulfill all your needs.

“It had a lot of dresses to choose from that were good quality and for a cheaper price than you would find at a regular store. If you go to multiple dances, it’s nice not spending a lot on one dress. I know for Prom, I’m planning on shopping there again and selling my old dresses,” Kelly Joy (11) said.

At Eco Chic, not only are customers able to purchase designer dresses at a low price but they are giving back as well. A percentage of the purchases will be donated to the Lake Central Education Foundation, an organization that helps support educational experiences not purchased through the normal school budget. This offer ends today.

“For every dress sold by March 16 to Lake Central students, we are giving 10 percent of that sale to the Teachers Education Fund. Our boutique offers organizations ways to raise funds for their particular cause. It’s our way of giving back,” Caruso said.

Hearing about this through LCTV, students are responding positively to the offer. It is beneficial to everyone.

“I think it’s a really good idea that they’re giving back some of their purchases to the Lake Central Education Foundation because a lot of girls here go there for Prom and Formal, and we give a lot to them so it’s nice that they give back to us,” Hannah Souronis (11) said.

Going Once, Going Twice…

Story originally published on 03/08/16 on lakecentralnews.com

The 12th Annual Jazz Scholarship Dinner took place on March 4. Held at the Halls of St. George, this event featured a silent auction, dinner and performances from the Jazz I and Jazz II ensembles.

“The Jazz Scholarship Dinner is an annual dinner where we raise money to give away scholarships to seniors [who] have been dedicated to the program for the past four years,” Benjamin Moore (12) said.

The dinner offers different things to do throughout the night, ranging from an organized dinner and a silent auction to live music.

“When the doors open, people start finding their tables and look at the items in the silent auction. Jazz II plays for about an hour. Once they’re done [performing], dinner is served and everyone eats. Afterward, Jazz I starts to play and we play until the end of the night while people bid on the rest of the auctions. It’s a really fun night,” Jesus Rivera (12) said.

This event not only benefits the audience and seniors, but the musicians in the ensembles too. It is a learning experience for the musicians.

“It gives musicians a chance to really show off our skills because there’s a lot of opportunities for soloing and playing different genres of jazz,”  Rivera said.

The scholarship dinner is one of most anticipated events of the year, leaving tables filled with family and friends.

“It is a great event for the audience from a listening standpoint, as well as a strong playing night for the players,” Trevor Williams (12) said.

Get Jazzy With It

Story originally published on 01/26/16 on lakecentralnews.com

Jazz musicians from all over the Midwest came together at Purdue University for the 26th Annual Purdue Jazz Festival. The two Lake Central jazz ensembles traveled down to West Lafayette on Saturday, Jan. 23.

“[The] Jazz Fest is a festival in which music enthusiasts come together and share their love for jazz. The fest is free for spectators, so it makes for a great time with your friends or family who also share the common interest,” Nikola Rivera (10) said.

The Purdue Jazz Festival is known for being Indiana’s biggest jazz festival. This event featured over 75 different jazz groups and offered several clinics and concerts throughout the day.

“The best part was getting the opportunity to hear great music and hear all the hard work people put into their passion,” Jesus Rivera (12) said.

Jazz has been around for hundreds of years and is known for its improvisation; the students in the Lake Central Jazz I and Jazz II ensembles share the same deep love for the genre as the first jazz musicians did.

“I prefer to play jazz over any other type of music because in my opinion, it is one of the hardest genres to play. I have a lot of respect for jazz because of its origin and I have a lot of respect for the musicians who play it. I enjoy listening to it just as much as playing it,” Nicholas Perez (12) said.

Victory against Vikings

Story originally published on 11/25/15 on lakecentralnews.com

The freshman boys basketball team played against the Valparaiso Vikings on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Family and friends filled the bleachers to support the boys in the first game of the season.

“[I think the game went] well, I feel like we played pretty decent. We were playing good defense,” Bryce Scherwin (9) said.

The boys beat Valparaiso with a final score of 43-31. The boys felt prepared enough for their first game.

“The outcome of the game was great, I felt like we were fully prepared. It’s always great to start the year with a win,” Evan Hand (9) said.

There was no waiver between the first and second half; halftime did not stop their momentum as they pushed towards the end.

“[The moment that stood out the most was] in the final minutes when we came together as a team,” Hand said.

Teamwork was a key factor in Tuesday’s game which contributed with their first win. The boys still think they have some things to work on.

“We played well as a team.  We can make some improvements but as time goes on we will get better, but overall it was a great win,” Josh Graziano (9) said.

Their next home game is Monday, Nov. 30.

Hauntingly Good Time

Story originally published on 10/26/15 on lakecentralnews.com

October is the perfect time for apple-picking, jumping in leaves and haunt events. The Six Flags Great America Fright Fest is an annual event full of haunted attractions.

“It’s just a normal Six Flags day, but at 6 [p.m.], all these scary people come out, and they can follow you around. It’s fun. They just chase you,” Bianca Alessia (11) said.

Fright Fest features numerous people in costumes and face paint to add to the frightening Halloween atmosphere. These features are often a crowd favorite.

“My favorite part about Fright Fest was getting to see all the people dressed up,” Sarah Combis (11) said.

Six Flags Great America offers different types of attractions and events. The park’s intended audience is teenagers, but is open to anyone who is looking for a good scare.

“Once all the scary people came out, all the kids and families left. [It’s] mainly for teens. I wasn’t really that scared, but it was fun, ” Alessia said.

The nearest Six Flags Fright Fest is located in Chicago, Ill., and it runs until Nov. 1.