So when the show was held last Friday night in front of a crowd of 300 at the high school auditorium, there was already a strong feeling of fun and camaraderie.
However, the evening took on a special meaning when the students decided to donate the proceeds of the show to help former Weehawken student Amanda Calligy, who is battling a rare neurological disorder.
"The kids asked about the talent show, but we really didn't have a goal or a purpose," said Richard Terpak, the school's athletic director and advisor to the Student Council. "But once we learned about Amanda, it did take on a special meaning."
Terpak once coached Michael Calligy Sr., Amanda's father, when he played football at Weehawken High School, so Terpak felt a special closeness to the project.
"The Student Council always tries to do the right things to help the school and the community," Terpak said. "The real reason to have a Student Council is for circumstances like this. It was a no-brainer to donate the money to the Amanda Calligy Fund."
In years past, Terpak would charge $2 at the door and take the money to give to a charity. But considering this was all for Amanda, he decided to raise the ticket price a little.
"No one balked at the price because they all knew it was for a good cause," Terpak said.
In all, 17 different acts signed up to participate in the show. There were a host of musicians, especially a house band of Weehawken students, featuring guitarists Chris Piacentino and Cory Ferrer, who performed most of the music for the vocal acts, like Grace Thompson, who sang two powerful and stirring solos to open and then close the show.
Others who performed in the house band included David Jaramillo, Mark Gordon and Bryan Alava.
"They backed up a number of the performers and did a very nice job," Terpak said.
A rock band made up of mostly Weehawken students called Xanity performed two numbers. Joe Cimino, one of the guitarists in the band, said he was happy to perform because he is a good friend of Michael Calligy Jr., Amanda's brother.
"We all hang out with Michael," Cimino said. "We're pretty close with him. We wanted to be able to help his sister. We were really looking forward to this show all year. It's our way to show the kids that we can play good rock music. We've been working toward this show as a band all along."
Cimino wanted to originally call his band Xanthus, but found out that a techno band in Scotland had already pinched the moniker.
"They beat us to it," Cimino said. "So we got the one closest to it. We don't like to put labels on ourselves that we're strictly a rock band. We have a lot of different styles."
Xanity performed a cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid," as well as an original song written by the band called "Addiction."
Cimino said that his band will perform in a series of "Battle of the Bands" concerts in the area this summer and hope to put together a demo tape as well.
There were other performing acts as well, like student Tanvee Trehan performing a dance from her native India, lip sync routines involving songs from Brittney Spears and Usher, an all-girls band performing music, and a comedy act performed by students Shawn Pierre and Andrew Petrie.
"This is all something the kids look forward to," Terpak said. "They really outshined themselves. Everything went well and the people seemed like they enjoyed themselves. The students performed well and they were able to help a really good cause. They were all supportive of one another."
In the end, a check for $1,700 was presented to outgoing PBA president Jim Casey to be donated to the Amanda Calligy Fund.
"It really was a nice event," Terpak said.