The Arlington High School Flight choir worked with alumni of the school to put on a ‘Night of Hope’ charity concert on Oct. 19.

This is the sixth annual Night of Hope, which raises funds for the Stanwood nonprofit organization Hope Unlimited.

Usually the organization brings in professionals though.

“This year we thought we would try something a little different and get some more local talent,” said Joel Johnson, executive director of Hope Unlimited.

“We reached out to see if they would put together a show for us,” said Johnson.

Jazzmine, an alumni group of Arlington High School’s jazz choir, helped put together a show with Flight, Arlington High School’s jazz choir.

Working with former members of Arlington High School’s choir programs was a new experience for a lot of the current students.

“When they asked for us to join in the alumni concert, I was excited,” said Heidi Forslund, Arlington High School’s choir director.

“It’s been a really fun experience watching students work with those who have been through this program and are involved in this community. I think it’s been really good for them,” she said.

Former students worked with current students on the concert.

“It’s been really cool working with people from past choirs,” said current Arlington High School student Maggie Mirante, who added she enjoyed “working with other people and being able to talk about what they did in the past.”

Student Emily Colombo agreed that it was a fun experience. “It’s great to see and hear what past jazz members have had to say,” she said.

The show was a “cabaret-style night” with a lot of songs, said Forslund. For many people in the program, it was the first time they had participated in a charity concert.

“They’re really excited about it. We’ve talked about the cause and who it’s supporting. It’s a humbling experience for us to be involved in something like this,” she said.

“I think that’s it’s great we’re going to do a charity event,” said Colombo. Although she said that  wasn’t her initial reaction.

“When Forslund told us that we were doing another concert, I was really like ‘oh, a concert great,’” she said. “But then she told us what it was for and I was like, oh, it is actually great.”

Hope Unlimited is a group that provides chaplain and first response services for the county and area and also works to raise anti-human trafficking awareness.

“Unfortunately it is a problem in our area,” said Johnson. “We do outreach to teach our young people about how to make good choices,” he said.

Students said they’ve learned about the cause while working on the concert and that it is an issue that needs more awareness.

“Hope Unlimited raises awareness for human trafficking, and I think that is something that not a lot of people talk about and that it needs more attention,” said Colombo.

“People don’t really talk about it that much, it’s really hush-hush, but I think it needs to be talked about more,” said Mirante.


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