“Trunk Full of Funk” gives students a chance to share their creative talents


Sophia Fernandez (junior) and her band Femme X close out the fundraiser on May 3, 2023. Photo by Brynn Copp

Brynn Copp, Features Editor

Trunk Full of Funk, a fundraising event planned and produced by John Biernacki’s Leadership Studies class, occurred on May 3, 2023 at 7 p.m. in the Underpass.

A cover fee of two dollars was charged for the event, with the proceeds going to One Tree Planted, an organization that plants one tree for every dollar donated. Additionally, there were concessions being sold to raise money for the same cause.

The event was organized by seniors Audrey Kruk and Emma Gagliardi with teacher Nathan Shackelford as their faculty sponsor. Applications to show off your talent were extended to the entire school, and students from a wide array of ages and skills participated.

The event opened with a trio singing the song “Break Away” from the musical Anna and the Apocalypse, which was sung by sophomore Addison Taylor-Bujak, sophomore Onyx Nowak and senior Elizabeth Nowak.

Taylor-Bujak not only performed with a group but also as a solo. The sophomore accompanied herself on ukulele as she sang “enough for you” from Olivia Rodrigo’s hit album Sour. She also sang one of her originals, “Fine” on guitar.

Taylor-Bujak said, “Everyone there is always super supportive and it’s just a fun, comfortable space to do anything with.”

Along with the typical musical performances, a few outliers such as a poetry reading and rubix cube solving stood out. Nishi Patel, a junior at East, read several poems including Lit Fest winning poems from her upcoming novel. In her prologue to the reading, she likened the poems to the movie “Finding Dory,” recalling that sometimes you just have to keep swimming.

Junior Paul Schiltz blew the crowd away with his rubix cube performance, and as a finale, created a fleur de lis in his nine by nine cube.

“When I realized that people thought it was cool… when it started to become a cube I could hear that people were getting surprised by it and it gave me confidence for the rest of it,” Schiltz said.

Soph Belz, a senior at East, performed “When Will My Life Begin” from the Disney film, Tangled. Throughout the whole performance, a smile didn’t leave her face.

Cate Winsor and Matthew Brunson performed several songs on the violin (former) and cello (latter). Several bands performed, with junior Sophia Fernandez’s band Femme X the last act of the night.

Trunk Full of Funk was a success, with many geared up and ready if the event is ever revived in the future.