The Bexley Music Parents board will hold its inaugural spring gala, "Jazz It Up," at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Harry C. Moores Campus Center at Capital University.

The Bexley Music Parents board will hold its inaugural spring gala, "Jazz It Up," at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at the Harry C. Moores Campus Center at Capital University.

"We are looking for a way to reach out and include alumni of the Bexley music program, both families and students," said board member Mary Gardner.

The spring gala will provide an opportunity to bring people back into the community and donate to programs they may have benefited from when they attended school in Bexley, Gardner said.

"Jazz It Up" will feature Columbus jazz vocalist Deb Wenig, refreshments, a cash bar and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 at the door. They will be available starting April 1 at the Bexley High School main entrance or by sending an e-mail to BexleyMusic@gmail.com.

The group hopes to make this an annual spring event, Gardner said.

"This is a great way for the community to celebrate the fantastic music program that our district is blessed to have," she said.

In conjunction with the spring gala, the Bexley Music Parents board is accepting nominations for its first Friend of Music award to honor outstanding volunteer efforts. Nominations will be accepted through April 9, with the winner announced at the gala.

"Parents tend to just be part of the background," Gardner said. "They work so hard and do so much and are largely unrecognized."

The award recognizes the hard work of someone who has donated time for a variety of projects, from fundraising to chaperoning, Gardner said.

Amy Johnston Blosser, director of choral activities at Bexley High School, said the district's music program has benefited from many volunteers.

"For everything from selling candy at concerts to volunteering to help with fundraising, so many people have worked countless hours for little or no recognition," she said.

The Bexley Music Parents group supports programs for the elementary, middle and high schools, from band to choir and orchestra, Gardner said.

The parents provide scholarships for music lessons, purchase new band uniforms and choir robes, fund guest artists and offset the cost of accompanists.

Other fundraisers for the Bexley Music Parents include a calendar sale and citrus sale.

To be eligible for the Friend of Music award, a person must be at least 21 years old and a current or former participant in the district's music program. Current officers of the Bexley Music Parents board are ineligible. Criteria for consideration include the number of years a nominee has volunteered, the type and variety of activities, leadership roles and personal impact on the school district.

Nominations may be sent to Victoria Powers, president of Bexley Music Parents, at 291 S. Cassingham or e-mailed to vpowers@szd.com. Include the nominee's name and a brief essay about why the person should receive the award as well as the nominator's name, address and phone number.

tstubbs@thisweeknews.com