Watch and hear students compete at JAM Fest

(Posted Oct. 31, 2022)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The goal is to raise $8,000. They’ve done it before, and they’re hoping the community will help them do it again.

The Jonathan Alder Music Boosters are hosting their 5th Annual JAM Fest, a music festival, competition and fundraiser featuring student performers. The event is set for Nov. 5 at the high school. Doors open at 5 p.m. A silent auction and food trucks will be on site. The show starts at 7. Tickets are $5 at the door. Visit for links to a live stream of the show, the silent auction (patrons can bid in-person or online), and a donation button.

“The main purpose of the event is to raise donations,” said Nicholas Mayes, head of choral activities at Jonathan Alder.

The 2022 JAM Fest features 17 acts, including soloists and groups competing for prizes, plus non-competitive spotlight performances by the high school choirs. Students had to audition for the chance to compete. A panel of three music industry professionals will pick the winners. Prizes are $200 for first place, $100 for second, $50 for third, and a custom-designed t-shirt for people’s choice.

“I think we have some acts this year that are a little different than what we had in the past,” Mayes said. “The kids are thinking a little bit more about how to put on a performance.”

Most of the entrants are vocalists. A band is in the mix, too.

“The band is going to do a mashup they created. They have very interesting costumes,” Mayes said. “It’s going to be a fun night.”

Before the show, visitors are invited to shop at the silent auction and grab a bite to eat at the food trucks. The silent auction includes at least 25 baskets assembled by the various choirs. Among the themes are autumn, game night, dads, Ohio State University, Christmas, and spa day. A sampling of the other items up for bid are a handmade blanket and a trumpet lamp.

From 5 to 7 p.m., the Paddy Wagon will offer up gourmet burgers, beef brisket, wraps and specialty sandwiches. The Cheesecake Castle will be selling miniature cheesecakes.

Proceeds from this year’s JAM Fest will go toward competition fees, junior high field trips, tours, and new risers. The high school show choir competes in three contests in February and March, another high school group competes in a large-group contest in March, and the eighth-grade choir takes part in a junior high contest in May. Festival funds also will go toward scholarships for students to travel to New York City Feb. 15-19 where they will perform at St. John the Divine and St. Paul the Apostle churches, attend two musicals, and take in the city’s sights.

Jonathan Alder’s choral music program includes symphonic, show, treble (sopranos and altos), and bass (basses and tenors) choirs at the high school, as well as separate seventh- and eighth-grade choirs at the junior high.

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