As many schools cut arts programs, one school in South St. Petersburg has a thriving jazz band.
The Lakewood High School jazz band is set to compete in New Orleans next week, but hasn't quite raised all the money to get there.
"There's a term in jazz we say, 'Are they swinging?' and basically swinging means they're actually playing the music the way it was written," Band Director Michael Kernodle said.
The way this group plays, you'd never know they're still students.
The Lakewood High School jazz band in South St. Petersburg has gotten superior marks from the school district. Two of its members are up for valedictorian this year.
"Here's something positive in the community that these kids are doing in music," Kernodle said.
Now, these all-stars plan to compete in New Orleans next week, but they're $5,000 shy of their funding goal.
"To experience jazz where it came from because you know New Orleans is the birthplace of jazz, I can't wait to experience that," senior Chase Goggins said.
He didn't play much music before he started in the band freshman year. Now he's gotten into USF, in part thanks to the saxophone.
"Music teaches you to be diligent it teaches you to work on yourself," Goggins said.
In this room, the entire band learns perseverance.
"If you just stick with it and have a passion for it anything can really happen with that and there's nothing you can't do," senior Jonah Hollander said.
That's just what these teens need to remember as they turn to their community for extra help.
"They're swinging, they're swinging every day with hot sauce on it," Kernodle said.
The band played for St. Petersburg city council Thursday.
If you want to help them out, visit the school's website: http://www.pcsb.org/lakewood-hs