W hile college basketball fans across the nation are gearing up for the NCAA tournament, members of Granville High School’s music program are gearing up for their own version of March Madness.

“March is Music in Our Schools month,” Crystal Everdyke, Granville Jr./Sr. High band director, said.

The national event is aimed at promoting scholastic-based music programs and to celebrate the occasion the music department will host several performances and special events during the coming weeks.

On Friday, March 13, the school’s jazz ensemble will travel to Whitehall High School. The performance will be held at 9:45 a.m.

Everdyke said Whitehall students are studying jazz and asked the Granville group to perform for them.

The performance will serve as a warm up for the group’s Jazz Café at 7 p.m. on March 19 at Granville High School.

The annual event will feature musical performances as well as a silent auction and a live auction of baked goods.

The ensemble will perform a dozen titles, including “Stairway to Heaven,” “Footloose,” and “La Noche Del Burrito Picante,” among others.

“We’re really trying to pull in the community for this,” Mary Haines, a volunteer helping organize the event said.

Local businesses have donated items for the auction and anyone who like to make a contribution is encouraged to contact Everdyke at 518-642-1051, ext. 2147.

Proceeds from the event help finance the ensemble’s trip to the Trills and Thrills festival, to be held on May 1 on Hershey, Penn. The one-day competitive music event attracts hundreds of students from across the Northeast.

Funds will also pay for senior band hoodies, junior band t-shirts, jazz ensemble t-shirts, cummerbunds and bowties.

Following the Jazz Café, a number of Granville’s most talented musicians will perform at the Washington County instrumental all-county festival at Greenwich High School.

Students who have been invited to attend include Ben Bishop (drums), Jennifer Dekalb (alto), Cole Haines (trumpet), Hannah McFarren (alto sax), Parker Rescott (drums), Kelsey Rupe (trombone), Ryan Schwenger (clarinet), Brendan Boyea (trumpet), Devin Cohan (baritone sax), Kyra Gee (flute), Jon Halter (trombone), Natalie Haines (trumpet), Abigail Najjar (flute), Josh Shaw (tuba), Tim Tennant (alto sax) and Brianna Thomas (French horn).

On March 30, students will host a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 30 at Bernardo’s Restaurant.

And to close the month, students will travel to and perform at the Empire State Plaza as part of the state-wide celebration of Music in Our Schools month.

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