CRESTVIEW — Both the cookin’ and the jazz were hot, and the Big Red Machine is more than $1,500 closer to new uniforms following Friday’s night’s Valentine’s and All That Jazz concert.

Watch as culinary students prepare concert food

Warriors Hall swung with the sounds of the Crestview High School jazz ensemble, while the tempting aromas of hors d’oeuvres and sweet treats prepared by culinary arts students filled the back of the room.

“I enjoy doing public catering a lot,” Crestview High senior Jerry Hand, said. “It gives me experience if I go into the culinary arts industry. I enjoy preparing food and seeing the enjoyment on people’s faces when they eat it. It’s like I made their day a little bit better.”

Up on the stage, the 20-piece jazz band kept the sell-out audience’s toes tapping with popular standards such as “In the Mood,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” and “I Got Rhythm.”


Soloists including saxophonists Indi Stanley and Jolvin Mejias, trumpeter Preston Kelley and trombonists Matt Kannapel and Michael Nauta periodically jumped into the spotlight, Preston turning a bright red as he blasted his part on “In the Mood.”

Sultry, bluesy numbers like “When I Fall in Love,” “Stormy Weather” and “At Last” featured vocalist Elizabeth Dunn. Her dad, band director Jody Dunn, shared his singing talent on Duke Ellington’s “I Like the Sunrise” and Kurt Weill’s “Mack the Knife,” the latter being one of Dunn’s favorites.

Though not a soloist, bassist Ethan Mitchell caught audience members’ attention by simply having a good time swinging to the music he played.

“I’m always jiggy,” the junior said. “I’m having the most fun in the room. The main thing is to have fun and enjoy it.”

“He’s great!” resident Joe Coffield said. “What a showman!”


The annual concert gives both performing and culinary arts students professional experience in their respective fields, under the instruction of their teachers Dunn and Chef Charles Tingle.

“Chef puts a high standard on us and we have to live up to them,” Jerry, who’s in his third year in the culinary arts program, said.

Valentine’s and All That Jazz is coordinated by the Friends of the Arts, a volunteer community organization tasked by the city with programming cultural events in Warriors Hall and fundraising to maintain its grand piano and equipment.

“We love supporting our talented students,” FOTA president Rae Schwartz said. “But we couldn’t do this without our community sponsors.”

Thanks to donors including Gordon Martial Arts and an anonymous giver, hall rental and food costs were covered, so all of the event’s ticket sales went entirely to the high school band uniform fund, Schwartz said.