Special to the Daily Herald

Killeen's own jazz orchestra, Swingtime Big Band, will headline Harker Heights High School's annual fundraiser for the band program, "A Knight of Jazz," April 20 at the school cafeteria.

"We're excited to return," said Steve Pettit, Swingtime's band leader. "Last year's concert was a big success and we're expecting even more people in the audience this time around."

The event starts at 7 p.m. with optional dance lessons during the first hour. The Harker Heights Jazz Ensemble, directed by Christopher Amsler, performs from 8 to 8:45 p.m., with Swingtime Big Band taking the stage at 9 p.m. An extensive dessert buffet and beverages, including Starbucks coffee, is included in the $10 ticket price.

"We'll have a spectacular finale combining the students on stage with Swingtime musicians for a jam session blow-out," said Pettit. "It's a great opportunity to hear live big band jazz, enjoy delicious food and drink and support the band program."

Swingtime Big Band is made up of college students, full- and part-time professional musicians and music educators. The band plays monthly at the Killeen Community Center as well as the first and third Sundays each month at Killeen's Crescent Lounge.

"Arts programs at public schools have suffered because of budget cuts," said Pettit. "Music is near and dear to our hearts, so we are thrilled to be able to help raise some much-needed money for the Harker Heights band program. Plus, it's a treat for us to meet and perform with these talented high school musicians. They're the future for this great music."

The high school is at 1001 E. Farm-to-Market 2410. Tickets are $10 and available at the door. For more information, call (254) 336-0813.

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