Boogie and Blues: MICMS supporters pack Hilton ballroom

Electric slide! Ladies including Lisa Lindsay get up on the dance floor.

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Electric slide! Ladies including Lisa Lindsay get up on the dance floor.

The crowd of MICMS parents and supporters who filled the ballroom at the Hilton presumably were put into a musical mood by the tuneful sets of the student musicians and singers. The show band led off, performing jazzy versions of songs including the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love,” the Jackson Five’s “Rockin’ Robin,” and the Doobie Brothers’ “Free Ride.” The Jazz Band, under the direction of MICMS band teacher Martha Miller, is made up of the top echelon of the larger school band.

For their portion of the show, the Starz brought back their “holiday mash-up” entitiled “A Song of Santa,” with bits of “Santa Baby” and a Christmas version of “Mister Sandman,” led by MICMS chorus teacher Karen Raymond, whose husband, athletic director Roger Raymond, sat in the audience nursing his injured leg. The group was 38 voices strong, with 11 soloists taking a turn at the microphone.

The evening also included a silent and live auction, with lots such as the honor of naming the school’s access road for a year being sold by master of ceremonies and auctioneer Al Diaz. School principal George Abounader, although claiming to have no remarks prepared, was more than ready to brag on his school a little, pointing out that of 579 middle schools in Florida, only 19 achieved a higher score on the FCAT assessment tests, and “you’d have to drive over 100 miles to reach another public middle school with a higher score.” In case anyone missed the figures, they were conveniently placed on a handout at each seat along with the evening’s program.

It was not difficult to instill a sense of pride in this group. School spirit was very much on display all evening. Along with the teachers, the parent volunteers, the merchants who donated for the auction, and the musicians, special thanks were offered to board president Tarik Ayasun. He has filled the role for 15 years, despite never having had a child attend the school. Finally, this year, he has a grandchild at Charter Middle.

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