The air in the Marietta High School auditorium will be filled with the sweet smells of cakes, pies and cookies and the sweet sounds of jazz, funk and blues as the annual Sweet Jazz Concert gets under way at 6 p.m. Friday.
This is the fourth year for the concert, which features two jazz bands from the high school and one from Marietta Middle School, according to band director Ernie Cornell.
"I'm really proud of the progress the kids have made, especially the Middle School- things are really starting to gel," he said.
Roughly 60 students total sign up to participate in the three bands and each group gathers together a different day every week after school to practice.
"They do this on their own time and they really have to be committed to it," Cornell said.
The event was started a few years ago to give students a chance to experience some different types of music. The bands are made up of various instruments, including saxophones, trumpets, drums, guitars and even a few woodwinds like clarinets and flutes thrown in for good measure.
If you go
* What: 4th annual Sweet Jazz Concert, featuring high school and middle school jazz bands and all-you-can-eat desserts.
* Where: Marietta High School auditorium
* When: Friday starting at 6 p.m.
* Cost: $5 at the door, includes concert, desserts and drinks. Children 10 and under are free.
"This concert will feature a lot of different kinds of music: swing from the 30s through 60s, some rock ballads, some funk, more eclectic music from Cuba," said Cornell. "We play a song called 'Hot Sauce' that has a very Mexican type of flair, some Tower of Power stuff and straight ahead blues.
"I want the students by the time they graduate to have a real understanding of this type of music."
Another sweet part of this event is the desserts that are made and donated by the band parents as part of the fundraiser, the money from which goes back into the school music programs.
"The band survives through fundraisers like this," said parent and booster Christine Lisk, whose son, Andrew, is in ninth grade and plays trombone and baritone. He's been involved in all aspects of the band since sixth grade.
"Even though we don't want to have to pay to play, (if it came down to that) we would because music is so important," she said. "I was in the band and it's something that just sticks with you."
Lisk said she thinks it is important to let the community know all the good things that kids are doing and this concert is one way to send that message.
"It's just a nice evening out ... you get to eat desserts and listen to music," she said.