The Columbia High School Italian Cultural Club presented their 18th Italian Dinner-Music Night this past Friday night. Held in the CHS cafeteria, the program featured Italian music, dance, poetry, acting and puppetry, presented by CHS students, parents and faculty.
This year's event was dedicated to the island of Sicily. Italian Cultural Club President and CHS Senior Lucas Cohen acted as master of ceremonies, introducing the performers.
Guests included a healthy sprinkling of parents, students, CHS faculty, and members of local Italian cultural organizations including the Father Vincent Monella Center of Italian Culture. All enjoyed dinner, dessert and coffee catered by the Corner Shop Gourmet Deli of South Orange.
The Italian Cultural Club meets every Monday after school, and promotes social and educational activities related to Italian culture. The group has taken trips to Italy, marched in the East Hanover Columbus Day parade, and visited museum exhibits focusing on Italian culture and people.
CHS Italian teacher Domenico Tancredi is the club's advisor and has been teaching Italian at the school for 33 years. He is also the glue that holds the program and event together. Tancredi teaches five sections of Italian and CHS teacher Loretta Graziano (who also teaches French and Spanish) teaches two sections. In total, approximately 130 CHS students are studying Italian.
Proceeds from the Italian Dinner-Music Night help fund the Italian Cultural Club's programs and activities. Part of the proceeds also are used to make a contribution to a worthy charity. Past charitable recipients have included Relay for Life of West Orange (American Cancer Society), the National Italian American Foundation (as a donation towards one of their scholarships for Italian Language) and the relief for the earthquake in Abruzzo, Italy in 2008.