Students invite public to Christmas Cabaret on Dec. 18

The West Jefferson High School jazz band, shown here performing at Polaris Fashion Place in Columbus, are among the musicians who will perform at the Christmas Cabaret, a student-led event scheduled to take place on Dec. 18 in the high school auditeria. In addition to music performances, the evening includes Santa visits, children’s activities, a cookie contest, and an ugly Christmas sweater contest.

(Posted Dec. 14, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

A Christmas Cabaret featuring musical performances, children’s activities, Santa, an ugly sweater contest, and a dessert contest will take place on Dec. 18 in the auditeria at West Jefferson High School.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Music performances start at 6:30. The public is welcome. Admission is $5. The entire evening has been organized by West Jefferson band and choir students.

“We’ve been wanting to do this for a while. This year, we really, really wanted to do it, so we decided to take it into our own hands and make it completely student-led,” said senior Clara Drummond, a member of the chamber choir, concert band, jazz band, and marching band.

The music department has hosted a Halloween Cabaret for several years, primarily benefiting the choir program. The new Christmas-themed event involves both the choir and band programs and benefits not only those programs but also charitable organizations in the community.

Donation of a non-perishable food item or hygiene product gets you a picture with Santa. All donated items will go to the Good Samaritan Food Pantry in West Jefferson. Part of the cabaret’s admission price goes to Santino’s Crusade for a Cancer-Free World, an organization led by West Jefferson student Santino Carnevale that raises money for cancer research.

The cabaret’s format has plenty of interactive features. Organizers invite children to make ornaments, like paper chain garlands or paper snowflakes, at home then bring them to the event to be displayed on Christmas trees and hallway walls. At the cabaret, young visitors can decorate pre-made gingerbread houses and write letters to Santa. These activities and visits with Santa will go on throughout the evening.

Anyone interested in showing off their holiday fashion is encouraged to enter the ugly Christmas sweater contest. Show up in your awful best (or would that be best awful?) and sign up at the door. Judging will take place on stage at intermission of the music performances. Winners will be announced later in the evening.

For those who like to make sweets, the cabaret includes a dessert contest. There is no charge to enter. Awards will go to the top three entries in each of two categories: Christmas desserts and Christmas desserts with dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free, dairy-free, or low sugar. Entries must be dropped off at the high school cafeteria by 4 p.m. Dec. 18. To sign up, visit

The event’s admission price includes sampling of the dessert entries, a hot chocolate bar, coffee, and water.

And let’s not forget the music. High school and elementary school students will perform holiday-themed music starting at 6:30. Solo and ensemble numbers are planned. The high school jazz band and chamber choir are on the schedule, too.

“It’s a big array of different songs and different ways of performing them,” Drummond said.

She added that she and the other student organizers are grateful for the support they have received in pulling the event together and getting the word out about it. She thanked parents, the Music Boosters, band director Elmer Broecker, choir director Amanda Rose-Hobbs, and Principal Matt Adams.

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