Show choirs and jazz bands from 30 schools in the Tri-State area will participate in the 21st annual Showcase of Excellence next Saturday at Quincy High School.
More than 2,000 students are expected to perform.
The event not only is a big day for many public and parochial schools that get to compete in a festive atmosphere, but it's also a major money maker for the Quincy School District's fine arts program for students in grades K-12.
"Proceeds from this event significantly support the music programs at all grade levels in the Quincy public school system," said Kathi Dooley, the district's director of music.
The Showcase was launched in spring 1993 as a fundraiser for Quincy High School uniforms and some extras for the music department. It has since become an integral part of the fine arts budget.
The Showcase is a massive undertaking that fills Quincy High School with color, music and activity from 8:30 a.m. until after midnight. Several hundred volunteers will try to make sure everything goes smoothly as one show choir after another takes the stage in the QHS theater while jazz bands assemble in the QHS gym for their performances.
Audience members will be able to cast votes for People's Choice awards in both categories.
The day will culminate with award presentations, including the Jazz Showcase Awards at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the Baldwin Intermediate School Auditorium, where the Big River Swing Machine is slated to perform at 6:30.
After the awards presentations, the Adam Larson Jazz Quintet will perform in the Baldwin Auditorium. At some point during the quintet's performance, local school officials will announce the top prize winners of the QHS Alumni Association's "Big Blue Raffle," including the $100,000 grand prize.
The Showcase of Excellence gives area students a chance to display their skills in an atmosphere where musical growth and fun are emphasized.
A team of experienced judges, including some renowned music professors from around the nation, grades each group on their performance. The judges then offer professional critiques aimed at helping the groups get even better.
In addition, a series of jam sessions, clinics and workshops will be offered throughout the day to add an educational component to the day's fun activities.
In addition to the competitions for show choirs and jazz bands, the event will feature karaoke-style solo competitions and a show choir fashion show.
New this year will be a performance by the Adam Larson Jazz Quintet from New York. This world-renowned group of musicians will perform for students and the community. The band members also will provide a clinic and master class.
An all-day pass allows visitors to come and go as they please throughout the day. The pass costs $10 for adults and $8 for students.
Members of the QHS Show Choir and QHS Jazz Band will serve as hosts for the day. Both groups will perform in exhibition at the end of the event.
Food and refreshments will be for sale in the cafeteria.
Dooley said the Showcase of Excellence would not be possible without the hard work of many volunteers, the Friends of the Performing Arts, and the support of the community.
Volunteers and donations are welcome. More information is available by calling QHS at 224-3774.