Kingman combo ready to get jazzy for annual benefit dinner

KINGMAN - The Kingman High School Jazz Combo will be serenading guests Friday during its annual benefit dinner.

Tickets for the event, which has available seating at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., are $25 per plate. The semi-formal dinner will take place at Dora's Beale Street, 509 East Beale St. Reservations are requested at (928) 279-4560.

During the dinner, members of the Kingman High School Band will serve tables while the eight jazz combo players create mood music in the background with horns, bass, guitar, piano and drums. All proceeds go to the high school's band program for travel and other expenses.

"The band travels all over for competitions, and travel is really expensive, so this fundraiser helps," said KHS band director Michael Schreiber. "This is our third year, and people have come out each time. We've been pretty close to sold out. It's great because the kids enjoy it and get a real-world opportunity to play, and the band gets the money from it."

Last year, the event raised about $2,500 for the band, said Schreiber.

Mikaela Soresta, 17, a senior who plays alto sax in the jazz combo, said she is looking forward to this year's event. Soresta, a member of the jazz combo for three years, also played at last year's fundraiser.

She said the group started slow during the meal, and then sped up the music after dessert.

"I think that performing in front of people like this is more hands-on and makes you feel like you're really working," said Soresta, who plans to pursue a degree in music performance after graduation. "It gives me experience and is getting me ready for actual gigs."

Dora Manley, owner of Dora's Beale Street, said she contributes 80 percent each year of what she receives from the dinner to the band program.

She said attendees also donate money and leave tips, which all go to the program. Manley said about 90 people showed up for dinner last year.

"People look forward to this, and I have calls at the beginning of the school year for it," said Manley. "This is great for the kids because they raise enough money in one night for what they need throughout the year. Without this fundraiser, they wouldn't be able to travel to their competitions."