DOWNEY – Only a few weeks removed from an unfortunate break-in, the Warren High School Band and Color Guard successfully hosted their first Flapjacks and Jazz event Saturday morning.
During the event, meant to be a fundraiser for the award winning music program, attendees were able to enjoy a pancake breakfast complete with eggs, sausage, fruit, juice and coffee, all while enjoying two musical sets by both of Warren’s Jazz 1 and Jazz 2 ensembles.
Saturday’s festivities was a continuation of a prior fundraiser, known as an evening of Jazz. According to Warren Band Director David Niemeyer, both Flapjacks and Jazz and its predecessor were meant to be a way to feature the program’s jazz students, while not overloading the band’s annual Spring Concert, which is currently scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday evening at the Downey Theatre.
“For me, as the band director, this is the Jazz Bands’ spring concert,” said Niemeyer. “…since we have three concert bands [the Spring Concert is] just such a long concert. The intention a while back was to try to get rid of the jazz band portion of the Spring Concert so that the Spring Concert didn’t have to be two, three hours long….with two jazz bands and three concert bands it’s just too long for one concert in my opinion.”
Warren’s Spring Concert also tends to include several “Senior Soloist” performances, which also adds to the concert’s long duration.
The Evening of Jazz officially started its transformation into the pancake breakfast event when Warren decided not to go on their annual Christmas caroling fundraiser like they had for the past several years. With the exit of one fundraiser came the need of another to “finish off the budget,” according to Niemeyer.
“Some of the parents were like, ‘Oh! We should do a pancake breakfast,’ you know,” said Niemeyer. “I said, ‘Well, hey listen: If we’re going to do a pancake breakfast, I’m going to combine the Evening of Jazz with it...”
Warren gained the help and support of several local businesses who donated several of the products used to provide the morning meals, including IHOP, Rock View Family Farms, Vallarta Super Markets, and Starbucks Coffee.
The Warren High Culinary Arts Program also lent a hand, preparing all the food for the event.
Tucked in the back corner of the event was a table selling newly designed Warren High School Band t-shirts. According to an announcement by Niemeyer, all the proceeds from those sales were to be put towards the replacement of some of the equipment that was stolen from the band room earlier this month.
During a brief intermission between bands, Niemeyer announced that some progress had been made since the break in, saying that arrests had been made and some of the equipment recovered.
However, due to the still ongoing investigation, Niemeyer was hesitant to disclose too much information on record.
Downey Police were unable to confirm or deny any of this information at this time.