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A poetic retelling of the SEF Gala

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

Sit right down as I tell a tale of my night in company with musicians and vocalists of Suffolk schools in the event titled “Under the Sea.”

I was so excited to attend the gala that they did not have to ask me twice. Who turns down an opportunity to get dressed up to the nines? Not I. I love to dress nice.

I donned my metallic silver and green trumpet skirt that resembles that of a mermaid. Although pretty, it proved to be cumbersome through the icy puddles we had to wade.

Yet I suppose with a theme related to water, the rain did not disappoint as we all gathered to enjoy our night at the Hilton Garden Inn Riverfront.

It did not escape my attention that Noah Fisher was the master of ceremonies. He and his co-host, Amaya Wills, were pretty funny.

Was that really his moniker? Was he just in character? His name perfectly matched the scene. Every detail highlighted the maritime theme.

Every song that was sung or played by the band was related to seas and oceans. It was as if each voice and instrument took us to a place in time when you heard that first “Baby Shark” jingle, Disney anthem, Titanic soundtrack or nursery rhyme. The selections so nicely complimented each other, my hat is off to each choral and band director.

We were entertained by promising, raw talent that brought tears and smiles to so many guests. I have to say the Elite Voices of NRHS left me feeling especially blessed.

They sang the popular worship song titled “Oceans” that speaks of stepping out in faith on the deep waters of life. This is a message we all need to remember when it seems the water is too wide.

It was a great night to witness the talent of Suffolk Public Schools on display. I personally enjoyed the entertainment with friends from Oakland Elementary School PTA.

Thank you to all those who contributed in some way. To the Suffolk Education Foundation, your fifth annual event was nicely done. My husband and I were happy to be in attendance and we look forward to the next one.


QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of nonprofit leadership and management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.