The public will get a chance to experience jazz and culture at an upcoming public performance of the Northside High School jazz band.
The March 12 Band Camp or Bust Concert at Second Street Live! will give the public an opportunity to see some of Fort Smith's most talented young musicians all while supporting their growth as musicians.
"This concert, Band Camp or Bust, is a free concert but we're accepting donations for scholarships for our students to go to band camp during the summer," said Adam Coats, the jazz band's director.
During a similar performance last year, which will include vocal performances for the first time this year, Coats said the public donated more than $16,500, which funded band camp for about 65 students.
Coats said individual donations varied last year, adding that students were humbled by the large amount of money raised on their behalf.
Without the money, some members of the Northside band would have been unable to afford to attend band camp, which Coats said develops students in a way regular classroom instruction sometimes cannot.
"You meet so many people from not just Arkansas, but also from out of state," he said. "You work with instructors you normally wouldn't have a chance to study under."
Junior Brinnon Rathbun plays guitar in the jazz band and echoed Coats' statement..
"It prepares you so much more than just sitting in a room all day," he said.
Rathbun said the instruction develops musicians in ways one might not expect.
"It helps a whole lot, all of these different teachers from these different places," he said. "I kind of feel like after I come back from (band camp), it gives me more of a leadership role and I feel like more of an ample musician."
Gordan Manley, director of Northside's concert band, said supporting band students' development through attending the concert was vital to a student's overall development as an individual.
"We feel like at Northside that music is an integral component of education as a whole. We're talking about educating the whole human being," Manley said.
Coats said money raised through the performance would be made available through a scholarship to the more than 200 members of the Northside concert band on a first come, first serve basis.
He said the total cost for sending a student to band camp was around $300. The cost includes room and board in addition to paying for instructors to teach during the camp.
By having scholarships available, Coats said students who may not otherwise be able to afford to go to a band camp are afforded the unique opportunity.
"Without these scholarships, many of these kids wouldn't be able to be involved in a band camp," he said.
Rathbun said he knew fellow band members depended on funding raised through this concert, along with other events through the year, to attend band camp.
"I think they're really thankful and appreciative," he said.
Coats added that conducting a concert and fundraising through the community was a way for students to work for their scholarship.
"Many students would rather work to earn the money instead of just being given money. This is one way of doing it."
Band Camp or Bust will start at 7 p.m., on March 12. Coats advises attendees to show up early.
"We filled Second Street Live, I think, to capacity (last year). There were people standing in the back. I would say around 250 people came out for that."
Second Street Live! is located at 101 N. Second St., in Fort Smith.