Arts and Entertainment

Marysville Kiwanis Concert boosts its attendance, fundraising numbers in second year

Kristina Ploeger, director of vocal jazz at Eastern Washington University and the daughter of Kenneth Ploeger, sings with the Eastern Washington Jazz Band at the March 18 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship Concert in her late father
Kristina Ploeger, director of vocal jazz at Eastern Washington University and the daughter of Kenneth Ploeger, sings with the Eastern Washington Jazz Band at the March 18 Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship Concert in her late father's name.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Penelope Ploeger.

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Kiwanis Club not only turned last year's Kenneth J. Ploeger Kiwanis Memorial Scholarship Concert into an annual event, but also scored huge gains in both its attendance and its earnings.

Marysville Kiwanis Concert Coordinator Penelope Ploeger, Ken's widow, reported that last year's concert drew as many as 100 attendees and netted proceeds of $150. According to Ploeger, an estimated 250 audience members turned out to the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium this year on March 18, raising roughly $800 for the scholarship in her late husband's name.

The M-PHS Jazz Band, directed by John Rants, was joined this year by the 10th Street School Jazz Band directed by Nathan Sackman, a jazz combo from Marysville Getchell High School directed by Dale Oayotte, and the Eastern Washington Jazz Band directed by Rob Tapper. Kristina Ploeger, director of vocal jazz at Eastern Washington University and the daughter of Kenneth and Penelope Ploeger, sang with the Eastern Washington Jazz Band.

"Before the concert, the bands had a wonderful opportunity to experience a clinic with Rob Tapper, who's the director of instrumental jazz at Eastern Washington University," Penelope Ploeger said. "He helped each band develop and refine their skills. Then the college students broke into sectionals with each group of instrumentalists for more in-depth study. It was such a great experience to watch the students' skills grow, from middle to high school, as they interacted with the college students from Eastern."

Ploeger also thanked the Holiday Inn Express in Marysville for donating six rooms and a meeting room to the Eastern Washington Jazz Band, as well as Jet City Pizza for providing six pizzas after the concert.

Kenneth Ploeger was a longtime dedicated Kiwanian, retired Navy electronics technician and city of Marysville employee who believed in the value of scholarships for students entering a vocational trade or career. The scholarship fund in his name is intended to aid community-minded high school seniors in receiving technical training at a community college or starting a degree.

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