Public invited to dance to jazz music for school ensembles

Sumner: Annual Big Band Dance fundraiser to help pay for competitive trip to Pasco

of the HeraldMarch 26, 2014 

Francisco Aragon, a junior at Sumner High School in the jazz band B ensemble, rehearses on the vibes in the commons. Aragon and other ensemble students will travel to Pasco next month for a competition.


The Sumner High School jazz ensemble will compete next month at the Columbia Basin College Jazz Unlimited Competition in Pasco. But to get there, the band will need some financial assistance.

“We’re getting big enough that we’re having to spend more on travel,” said Joe Carl, Sumner High School’s band director.

To help pay for the trip April 12, the Sumner Band Parent Association will present its annual Big Band Dance fundraiser at 6 p.m. Saturday at the high school gymnasium.

Sumner High jazz ensembles, as well as those from Bonney Lake High School and neighboring middle schools, will perform. The theme will be Keep it Swingin’.

Band Parent Association President Jolynda Siegrist said the portion of money raised for the Sumner High jazz ensemble will go toward the two-night stay at the competition in Pasco.

“Our goal is to raise $2,500 and to pay for one night,” Siegrist said.

April Evers, a parent in the association whose husband, Mark Evers, is the vice president, said she’s looking forward to the event.

“It’s a fun night for people to listen to jazz music,” Evers said. “You get to see all the jazz bands in the district, and it’s all-you-can-eat dessert.”

For $5 admission, people who attend can enjoy beverages and dessert. Children 5 and younger will be admitted for free. There also will be raffle tickets with themed baskets for prizes, Carl said.

“The students really enjoy going places and showing what they can do,” Carl said. “Luckily, we have parents and families that are very helpful in making this happen.”

Carl said he doesn’t expect students to bring money from home to pay for costs, because money is tight.

“It’s fun to raise money from students’ own talents,” Carl said. “I’d much rather entertain people and raise money that way.”

Carl said the program enables high school students to share their talents with middle-schoolers.

“The middle school experience is kind of a stepping stone to a greater experience in high school,” he said. “They have to be reminded that this is what it looks like at the end of the tunnel, if they keep going.”

If you go

The Big Band Dance will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Sumner High School gymnasium. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Bands will include the Sumner High School jazz ensembles, as well as jazz ensembles from Bonney Lake High School and Lakeridge, Mountain View and Sumner middle schools. The ensemble from White River School District’s Glacier Middle School also will play. Admission is $5 at the door and free for children 5 and younger. Raffle tickets will be available for $1.

Reporter Andrew Fickes can be reached at 253-552-7001 or by email at Follow him on Twitter, @herald_andrew.

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