William Byrd Jazz Bands host annual Jazz Café fundraiser

William Byrd High School Band Director Dan Plybon (far left) joins the WBHS Jazz Band in performing “Bare Necessities” from “Jungle Book” at the annual Jazz Cafe fundraiser on May 18 at Thrasher Memorial.

The William Byrd Middle School and High School Jazz Bands held their annual fundraiser at Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church on May 18.

The eighth grade WBMS jazz band performed under the direction of Denise Aspell, Director of Middle Schools bands. The WBMS seventh grade jazz band and the WBHS Jazz band were directed by Dan Plybon, Director of Bands at WBHS. The bands played to an enthusiastic full house audience in the fellowship hall at the church.

The event was sponsored by the William Byrd Band Boosters and coordinated by current president Robin Geisler and incoming president Suzanne Bowser.

The Jazz Band fundraiser usually involves a pasta dinner, but this year organizers opted for a true “Jazz Café” with desserts donated by band families, coffee, and drinks.

Proceeds from the dinner go each year to band supplies and operations. This year’s Jazz Café raised in excess of $1,500.

The seventh grade jazz band currently has 17 members; the eighth grade band, 22 members, and the high school jazz band has 16 musicians. They perform not only in school concerts, but in the community at such events as the Vinton Dogwood Festival.

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