JACKSON TWP. The Jackson High School jazz band program held its annual Desserts Concert on March 8 in the Commons Area at Jackson High School. The popular event had a packed room full of family and friends of the band members and local residents stopping by for coffee, desserts and some live jazz music.

“This event started decades ago as the Jazz Dinner/dance,” wrote Sean Monigold, Jackson’s director of jazz bands, in an email. “As times and tastes have changed, it evolved into a Dessert Concert around five years ago. The event is an informal concert opportunity to feature the talents of all five JHS Big Bands, and also serves as a fund-raiser for the jazz program.”

The desserts are a combination of donations from the students and items purchased by the Jackson Band Boosters. The dessert tables were loaded with cookies, cupcakes, brownies and cheesecake along with many other items. Residents could pay a small fee to attend and have coffee and dessert or not pay the fee and just come into listen.

The money raised helps support the activities of the jazz program. There are typically more than 100 students involved in the five JHS Big Bands. This year there are 108.

“The program has grown over the last seven years from 40 students in two big bands to the current five big bands. We are very proud that our jazz program includes everyone from beginning students playing secondary instruments through accomplished musicians planning on majoring in jazz in college,” Monigold wrote.

The event is the highlight of the Jazz calendar. It highlights all of the bands in a less formal concert setting and serves as a final concert for some of the bands.