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Members of the NHS Jazz Ensemble perform at the 2022 Cafe Night.

Coffee and Concertos - Students Look Foreward to Upcoming Cafe Night

Written by Jada Garcia and Sarah Nugiel

On March 19th, the NHS music program will open the doors of the large gym, decked out with tables and stages to offer performances in jazz, orchestra, pop, and more. Students from both Nutley High School and John H. Walker Middle School will be performing in groups that they chose themselves.  


Cafe Night gives students throughout the two schools an opportunity to showcase their talents. It allows students to pick their own pieces and perform for others, whether it's in an ensemble, duet, trio or solo. 


“Cafe Night is a great way to perform without fear of being judged or graded,” says Isabella Bonilla, a student who plays trumpet for the NHS Wind Ensemble. “There are many groups and individuals that audition to play for fun, without being assigned by a teacher, and are there to show the community their musical talents. But there’s also larger groups that spend many hours after school with a teacher to make music and prepare.”  


Cafe Night is a nice and relaxed environment to relax and unwind. While giving an ear to the performances, there will be delicious foods and beverages. “I went to Cafe Night with my dad last year,” says Kristen Reilly, an NHS senior. “There was coffee, cookies, and pastries, too. It was pretty nice.”


Students are working incredibly hard for this upcoming night, especially those who are part of multiple music ensembles. “I’m performing the Hawaii Five-O Theme with the NHS High Brass Ensemble, and the pieces 'Sofrito' and 'Moonlight Serenade' with the NHS Jazz Ensemble,” said Bonilla. “I’m also playing 'Come Fly With Me' and 'What A Wonderful World' with the JHWMS Jazz Band.”


“I have two barbershop-esque songs for the Men’s Ensemble, and I’m also playing 'Hawaii Five-O' with the brass ensemble,” said sophomore Harlequin Rosado. “I practice way too much. Sometimes I practice for just 30 minutes, while other times I go in 2-hour intervals. But I enjoy playing with my friends, especially when it’s pieces and instruments I love.”


There will be two seatings for performances in the NHS gymnasium. The first seating will be from 12:00pm to 2;00pm, with the second seating being from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. “I’m glad that they split the show into two sessions,” Reilly says. “It’s easier to enjoy the show that way.”


This event is being hosted by the Nutley Music Boosters, and proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the music department for NHS. Tickets are purchased in advance at $15.00 each. Nutley Music Boosters is also requesting families for a donation of $10.00, which goes towards a raffle for prizes.


Cafe Night is an event like no other, only happening once a year. “I love preparing for and performing at Cafe Night every year,” says Bonilla. “I hope this great musical tradition continues on for many years to come.”

Purchase your tickets to Cafe Night here!