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Jazz concert benefits prep music programs
Event Sept. 18 at local quarry
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Forsyth County News


Tickets for the Concert in the Quarry can be purchased through local high school band students or online at Online purchases offer a chance to decide which school program will benefit from the proceeds. Tickets are $75 for a full catered meal, $50 for open table seating, $40 for the concert, or $25 for students 18 and younger. Concessions will be available for purchase for those buying tickets without a meal option.

The fifth annual Concert in the Quarry on Sept. 18 is a benefit for local high school music programs.

Joe Gransden, who performed at the first quarry concert, will return with a 16-piece big band of local musicians. Also performing will be Mike Geier and Annie Selleck.

“The combination of Joe and Mike will make for some unique music,” said Glenn Kruse, an event organizer.

“It’s a fun event, it’s a unique setting and it’s just a great way for people to have a nice evening and help fund the arts programs and help some kids out.”

About 1,300 people attended the last quarry concert in May 2009. While Kruse expects about the same turnout, the venue has room for as many as 3,000.

The switch to a September date was to give Forsyth’s high schools a chance to get some extra money at the beginning of the year, instead of right before summer break.

High school bands and culinary arts students are working to sell about 700 tickets, proceeds from which will go directly to their programs.

While school bands won’t be performing during the concert, culinary students from South and West Forsyth high schools will be helping cater the event.

For South Forsyth High school culinary students, this is the third year providing food at the event.

They started selling snacks, burgers and hot dogs, and are now serving a gourmet meal. Among other dishes, the meal includes Greek salad, pork osso bucco, truffle whipped potatoes, grilled vegetables with balsamic glaze and lemon meringue pie.

“We’re really excited,” said Dawn Martin, culinary teacher at South Forsyth High School. “We prepare in large batches, so that’s one of the things the students learn here.

"They get to use a lot of their math skills, because if a recipe is for 25 people, they have to figure it out for 400.”

Students are preparing enough food for about 800 people this year.

It’s not just the cooking students that benefit from the concert, said Genise Tworek, work force development director for the county school system.

All of the fine arts teachers are "very honored that proceeds from this year's Concert in the Quarry will be donated to their programs,” she said.

“At most of the high schools, the band programs, along with their booster clubs, are encouraging community members to purchase tickets for this event.”

It’s the assistance to fine arts that encouraged Kruse to start organizing the event five years ago.

His two daughters, now both students at the University of Georgia, are South graduates.

“They went through the music program all four years they were in school and it had such a positive impact on not only their academics, but their social and ... life skills standpoint,” he said. “We saw them grow into young women being part of the music program.”

Many of the volunteers helping to put on the community event are parents, several of whom have children now in college, Kruse said.

But nothing would be possible without help from the Martin Marietta Forsyth Quarry. The site, 300 feet below ground level at 3561 Peachtree Parkway, has housed the concerts each year.

“They have volunteers that work with the concert and they’ve just been a great partner,”  Kruse said. “It’s a nice way for people to understand what they’re doing on the rock quarry as far as the product they deliver."