The Kwalicum Secondary School’s Senior Jazz Band poses for a snap in at a past performance in Vancouver. (Courtesy of Sarah David)

Dinner and a show: KSS Jazz fundraiser in Qualicum Beach features live music

Arrowsmith Big Band, student groups to perform at Feb. 7 event

The Kwalicum Secondary School music department is hosting its annual fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 7, with all proceeds going toward sending budding jazz musicians on trips around the country to hone their craft.

The Jazz Extravaganza Evening features dinner and dancing, with doors opening at 5 p.m. and live music until 10 p.m.

“It’s a big fun evening, lots of music, lots of dancing, lots of great food,” said Crystal-Anne Howell, one of the two music teachers at KSS.

Howell says that last year was a blast, and she’s looking forward to another successful year of hosting the event at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.

“It was a great success, people had a lot of fun. We raised some good money for the students to go on trips and register in festivals, and get out there and showcase and meet new people, other people who are making jazz like them. So it’s a really great event,” said Howell.

READ MORE: KSS Jazz Band students return from Ottawa with glowing reviews

The theme of the event this year is Roaring ’20s.

The musical choices reflect that era, as the event features the school’s two big bands as well as special guests Arrowsmith Big Band.

“We’ll have live music pretty much the whole evening until about 10 o’clock,” said Howell.

In addition to the big band performances, the KSS vocal jazz ensemble will perform, as will a handful of student jazz combos playing classics and showing off their chops. Howell says concert-goers can expect some serious talent from the award winning high school musicians.

“Lots of improvised solos, and lots of kids working really hard to work at their craft. They’re pretty darn good at it,” said Howell.

After the dinner, the tables are cleared to make room for a dancefloor and the Arrowsmith Big Band will take the stage.

In addition to the performance there will be a large silent auction, with “just about everything under the sun” up for auction according to Howell – meals, outings, community artwork and more. There is also a “wine wall” where people pay $20 and can receive a bottle of wine valued up to $70.

READ MORE: Kwalikum Secondary School jazz groups show what they’ve got

The fundraiser is an important part of funding for the school’s jazz program.

“We have obviously lots of different demographics in Qualicum Beach – but some kids can’t really afford to go on any trips. And so this helps subsidize for a lot of them, so that they can come and participate, and we can get our whole groups out to places,” said Howell.

Funds from this year’s event will help take students to the West Coast Jazz Festival in Nanaimo as well as the MusicFest Nationals in Calgary. The Senior Jazz Band will also be going on tour and performing at several schools throughout Vancouver Island.

“Our students work very hard at their studies and musical growth, which is evident in their performances throughout the year, and in the past, have received numerous awards and recognition as a result,” said the school in a release.

Tickets for the evening’s dinner and dance are $70 per person. Tables of 10 can be booked for $600. Tickets are available at Alcove in Qualicum Beach.

To book a table, call Amy at 250-951-2210.

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