Mark Jurek directs the Soldotna High School Band at a rehearsal on Oct. 11, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Mark Jurek directs the Soldotna High School Band at a rehearsal on Oct. 11, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Jazz, swing and cheesecake

SoHi brings back annual band and choir fundraiser

A special fundraising concert for the Soldotna High School music department will be held on Valentine’s Day, with cheesecake, coffee and hot chocolate served to attendees in the SoHi auditorium as jazz and swing music is performed by students onstage.

The fundraiser is a tradition that band director Mark Jurek said was started by one of his predecessors.

“People have expected it,” he said. “It generally is one of our biggest actual fundraisers.”

It was successfully held last year for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Jurek said the band and choir are excited to take that experience and “boost it up.”

The fundraiser concert is “an all-hands-on-deck sort of thing,” he said.

The SoHi Jazz Band and Swing Choir will be performing onstage, as well as some soloists. There will be a serving crew moving through the auditorium throughout the show — delivering desserts and beverages directly to seats.

Music played will cover a variety of jazz styles, and a wide range of years, Jurek said. Glenn Miller’s 1939 track “In The Mood” will be featured, as well as modern songs, “some fun funk songs” and swing music.

“There’s gonna be something that most people will come out of the concert going ‘oh, I really like that,’” Jurek said.

The auditorium will be set up with tables on the backs of chairs, Jurek said, which limits the capacity, but will make for a fun experience.

Annual fundraisers like Jazz and Dessert allow the music department to afford transportation, instrument repair, uniforms and other maintenance costs.

“It helps us to be able to continue to provide quality equipment for our kids here,” Jurek said.

Tickets can be purchased either by calling Soldotna High School’s office at 907-260-7000 or at the door. One can be purchased for $15, or four can be purchased for $50. The show will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about the Soldotna High School Band, including upcoming performances, visit facebook.com/SoldotnaHSBand.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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