Jazz Ensemble, Railaires host marathon fundraiser

Ben Crump

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Sophomore Mikey Smith sings a Micheal Bublé cover at the Jazz and Railiaires marathon concert Nov. 5.

The Jazz ensemble and Railaires choir students performed a marathon concert fundraiser in order to raise money to attend a group trip to New Orleans, La.

“We’re needing to raise about $36,000 and so far the concert has raised over $20,000 to date with people still sending money in,” band instructor Keith Woolery said.

The concert ran for six hours without repeating any songs and with very few intermissions in between songs.
Senior Esmeralda Hernandez is apart of the choir and believed the concert was a success.

“It went really well. I got to sing with different people and I got to sing a variety of songs,” Hernandez said.

In years past, the Woolerys have taken the Jazz ensemble and Railiare students on trips to various parts of the country, including the San Francisco bay area and Orlando, Fla.
This year, Woolery and his students will not only be traveling to New Orleans, but also making stops to perform along the way, the first of which in Branson, Mo.

“We will be performing on the Branson Bell before their big show, then we’ll watch the show.” Woolery said.

After the ensemble takes part in a clinic with performers in Branson, they will make the 500 mile drive south to Saint Francisville, La. From there, they will go on to New Orleans to perform again.

“We’ll be out on the Natchez riverboat performing for the people waiting to get onto the boat,” Woolery said.

After leaving Louisiana they will travel west to Denton, Texas for a performance at Denton High School. The Jazz ensemble and Railaires will perform with the Denton High School band, as the band instructor for Denton High School is Woolerys’ own son and a Newton High alum. While in Denton, they will view a presentation over music therapy at Texas Women’s University. This will begin their journey home, completing the 8-day trip.

Hernandez, along with the rest of the students involved, are looking forward to participating.

“This trip is going to be very exciting and fun. I will learn a lot of things if I’m being honest,” Hernandez said.