Jazz and dessert night set
Jazz & Dessert II will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 28 at Austintown Middle School, 800 S. Raccoon Road.
The cost is $5 per person and includes a ticket for 10 dessert samples. There also will be a basket auction of baked goods.
The event will feature two jazz bands from the middle school, the Red and the Blue, under the direction of Jeremy McClaine; Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 high school groups under the direction of Wes O’Connor; and Austintown Alumni Jazz Band under the direction of Marc Pupino.
Austintown band parents are looking for local novices, home bakers and professionals, who will compete for trophies. Additional awards will be given for displays set up by the bakers and will be judged by Youngstown’s Bacho’s Cakes and Crafts and Austintown Sugar Showcase.
Entry forms can be found at www.afband.org, by calling Brad Gessner, chairman, at 330-398-0681, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Forms also can be found on Facebook at Austintown Band Parents, Inc.
Austintown Band Parents Club, a nonprofit corporation established in the 1970s, initiated the idea of the Jazz and Dessert night of music with desserts in January 2016.
Randy Coleman, a 1984 graduate of Austintown Fitch, and parents of two students in the Austintown Band programs, wanted to help the bands raise money for uniforms and instruments and defray expenses for band performances outside of the area. So as a trumpet player, he reached out to fellow 1984 graduate Rob Bowman, drummer; local pianist Jack Ciarniello, a 1977 Fitch grad; Jonathan Willis, an alumnus of the Glenn Miller Band and 1983 graduate, former band director at Malone University and University of Mount Union who plays trombone; and local dentist and 1972 Fitch graduate, Dr. Larry Gessner, who plays bass guitar. They formed the Alumni Jazz Band.
Last year more than 20 bakers offered a selection of 40 desserts and jazz music was enjoyed by more than 400 people. Last year’s bakers offered blackberry cupcakes baked by a band member, Becca Makar; a mandarin orange cake baked by a 90-year-old former band parent, Marjorie Gessner; entries from Austintown Fitch Principal Chris Berni and his wife, Debbie; and Canfield Bakery Kim’s Confections.