SMS & SHS Annual Soup Supper Concert

Annual Soup Supper Band Music & Pie Extravaganza
Posted on 01/09/2020
Mrs. Sumpter accompanies the SHS Choir.

Annual Soup Supper Band Music & Pie Extravaganza

Photo and article by: Kathleen Kohler 

Family, friends, and community members gathered in the high school commons for an evening of music, singing, and steaming hot soup. One local couple waited to watch their 6th and 8th grade daughters perform in the choir. “Music is important to our culture. Not everyone can be president.” The husband laughed. “I like to support my children in their interests, and give them something fun to do and some culture beyond the basics.”
As the first group of students took their places, Jill Sumpter, Sultan High School’s (SHS) music director, welcomed the crowd to the school’s 27th Annual Soup Supper Band. “If you’re wondering why we’re up here in the dark, the stage lights don’t work,” she stated. “But I’m pleased to say last meeting the school board approved $70,000 to replace the stage lights.” Applause roared from an enthused audience.

Ms. Suter leads the Sultan Middle School Band.Directed by Sultan Middle School (SMS) teacher Ms. Emily Suter the 6th grade band readied their instruments and opened with “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” and “Jingle Bells.”

While the music played, Aimee Catlin, vice president of the Sultan Music Parents Association (SMPA), and fellow parents served up bowls of hot soup and dinner rolls for a line of guests that formed from the kitchen to the back of the commons. Soup choices included broccoli cheddar, roasted vegetable, chicken tortilla, chicken noodle, and potato.
Between musical numbers, Zach Day, wearing a frayed shako (band hat with a feather plume) and holding his two-year-old son, kicked off the pie auction. “I’m the pie guy,” he announced. A Sultan alumni and former band student of Mrs. Sumpter, in his comic manner he told the audience that the band had not had new uniforms since 1997. For nearly twenty-three years students have worn the same uniforms. 

Though insufficient to purchase uniforms, SMPA raised $13,000 through their fund raisers the past two-years. However, at a recent meeting, Sultan’s School Board allocated an additional $20,000, ensuring the purchase of new band uniforms. 

Pause the show for the Pie Guy!Last year’s pie auction garnered a record amount of money for the band and drama departments. “I’m aiming to break last year’s record,” Day stated. “Money raised this year will purchase new band shoes and shakos.”

He opened the auction with a homemade apple pie that went for $18.00, followed by a homemade pineapple pie, baked by a Sultan alumni enrolled in culinary school whose creation brought in $40.00. Pie prices escalated as the evening continued. 

Throughout the program, diners indulged in cups of coffee and generous slices of pumpkin, apple crumble, coconut cream, chocolate silk, lemon meringue, and berry pies. 
The 7th and 8th grade bands entertained with a Christmas medley of “Up on the Roof Top,” “Silent Night,” “A Partridge in a Pair Tree,” “The First Noel,” and “Carol of the Bells.”

Audience went back for seconds on soup, Zack Day and his assistant returned with another cart of pies. Oohs and ahs echoed from the crowd as bidding began on a still-warm mixed berry pie, fresh from the oven. A bidding war ensued when he held up a dark chocolate salted caramel pie with an Oreo cookie crust and 60% dark cocoa chocolate ganache. Laughter rose from the crowd when one bidder swooped in with an extra $1.00 over the proceeding $40.00 bid. “Sold for $41.00,” Day said. Cheers and applause erupted when the next pie, a peppermint chocolate chip, sold for a whopping $100.00. And that was just the beginning.

Nancy Hansen, who’d come to watch her great niece Jenna, a junior at SHS, said, “Music programs in the school are very important to balance out education. “Music eases the soul,” she added.

“My kids have been in band since the 4th grade,” said Lesley Lich, a Title 1 Para at SHS. “Give kids something constructive to do. Keep them involved at the school.”
Concert goers were all smiles when the high school choir sang the “Whooville Christmas Song” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” from Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And the talented singers rocked the audience with “Feliz Navidad.”

 “That music teacher is terrific,” commented Dorothy, who attended the concert with her daughter and son-in-law. “We’re sure blessed to have her. She just has a way with kids cause she can sure get the music out of them.”
As the concert continued the audience opened their hearts and wallets. Bidding started at $40.00 for Brad Catlin’s peanut-butter cheesecake with ganache and Peanut Butter Cups. Catlin, who manufactures electronic components for tech companies, donated four pies to the auction. His wife, Aimee, was quick to say, “He loves to bake.” The final bid for his decadent dessert closed at $120.00. 

The high school band wrapped up the evening with a pounding performance from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, an exclamation point on a terrific evening of good food, outstanding music, laughter, and fun. 

Jill Sumpter thanked the audience and announced tickets will soon be on sale for the SHS production of The Music Man, coming in February.