In Focus: Central Lakes Jazz Orchestra Holds Annual ‘Jingle Mingle’ Fundraiser
By Hanky Hazelton
To spread holiday cheer early this Christmas season, the Central Lakes Jazz Orchestra held its annual Jingle Mingle fundraiser last Friday at Roundhouse Brewery in Nisswa. The goal of the get-together is to provide as many scholarships for Central Lakes College music students as possible.
“I worked with Kate Adornetto, our wonderful Central Lakes College Foundation director, and we came up with the Jingle Mingle.” said Jonathan Laflamme, CLC Director of Instrumental Music. “We put on a two-and-a-hour concert and basically just throw a giant holiday party. We have an ugly sweater competition going on. We’re going to play a bunch of jazz Christmas tunes, holiday tunes, but then also your traditional, you know, Frank Sinatra, Michael Bublé, Ella Fitzgerald-type ensembles with two vocalists. [It’s just] a great, good old-fashioned holiday party.”
While a regular jazz concert might require tickets, all the orchestra asked for at Friday’s show was donations. Any money brought in will go directly to supporting the students.
“[It allows] for them to register, to be able to pay for it to be in the ensemble, if they need assistance with lessons to be able to get up to speed, to be able to participate in a musical ensemble,” explained Laflamme. So there’s nothing that’s going to the college. The college manages the funds through the Foundation.”
The Jingle Mingle has been a success since it started. The concert has touched the lives of many, including some donors who to this day wish to remain anonymous.
“They came the Monday after we had it, went to the Foundation and funded – and they’re still going – full-ride scholarships,” said Laflamme. “So they were moved enough to to do that. And that just told me that we need to do more of these types of events.”
At CLC, students have a rare opportunity to not only have fun, but gain a wealth of knowledge from some veteran musicians.
“Our music majors are being able to sit next to someone who already has the degree they’re pursuing, or maybe even a master’s and in some cases a doctorate in that field of study and experience. And then when we do social events like this, they’re talking and they’re interacting and they’re getting the opportunity for some serious mentorship. So we hope to do two things, raise money for students that are the most in need in music, and second, to spread some serious cheer.”
CLC will be hosting another concert, Holly Jolly, on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at Brainerd’s Chalberg Theater, where musicians will partner with the Salvation Army, the United Way, and the U.S. Marine Corp. Reserve’s Toys for Tots. Instead of charging for admission, they’re asking the public to buy a toy and give it as a donation for kids.