Award-winning Wildcat Jazz Band performs at Jazz Night

The Cassville School District Jazz Bands, under the direction of Micah Boise and Kelli Pavlu, took the stage to perform at the 7th annual Jazz Night, Sweets and Treats, on Feb. 22.

The Band Boosters organized the event, which provided an opportunity for the community to support the band program through a performance- based fundraiser. Students enjoy performing and benefit from the community’s response to their work.

“Our community’s help is a huge part of our program’s success,’ Boise said. ‘Typically, the district supplies us with everything we need for the classroom. However, a bulk of the contests we compete/perform at are not included in the district’s funding. This is where the community’s help in funding becomes of utmost importance to us. We cannot travel with the students unless we have support from the community both financially and physically.”

“Jazz Night promotes community awareness of the arts and showcases some of our talented student musicians,” said Kim Garner, president of the Band Boosters.

Jazz Night and the other performance-based fundraisers this spring provide opportunities for the students to perform longer concerts than traditional school-based programs and the musical selection is different. It includes not only jazz but also popular tunes the audience would recognize and enjoy.

Jazz Night was the kick-off to the high school jazz band’s competitive season. Last year was an award-winning year for Wildcat Jazz, with the band receiving Excellent and Superior ratings at competitions.

This year, they were once again one of the top-rated bands at University of Central Missouri. It takes at least two full quarters of class work to adequately prepare for jazz band contests.

Boise found that after achieving success in competitions last year, the students felt validated for all their efforts in jazz.

“Participating in contests now has given the Jazz Band new life, motivation and credit for their excessive work,’ Boise said.

Jazz Night was the first of three performance- based fundraisers featuring Cassville School District Jazz Bands this spring. These award-winning student musicians will perform March 16 at Zone 4 Mini Golf and April 5 for Blues and Barbecue at the high school. All proceeds raised will be used to benefit the band program.

The Cassville Band Boosters is a volunteer group that is not affiliated with Cassville schools. These parents and community members work to support the band program by supplementing the various costs and duties required for the band programs to operate.

Fundraising by the Boosters helps with the cost of travel and equipment and provides food for the student musicians performing at festivals and contests.