Hot Notes Frequently Asked Questions


Q: How will donations made to the event be used?

A: Event revenue supports the high-quality band, choir, dance, guitar, jazz, orchestra, and theatre programs at Southwest High School. Over the years, we have funded new choir risers, band and guitar instruments, a marley dance floor, musical licenses, costumes, guest artists, theatre sets, and more. 


Q: What is the event attire?

A: Dress up as much or as little as you want. This is meant to be a festive and inclusive event for all!


Q: Will food be served at the event?

A: Yes! We will offer an hors d'oeuvres buffet from 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM. All food is included in the price of your $75 event ticket. Our buffet is catered by Annie's Catering, a local woman-owned business that provides creative, fresh, and delicious catering for gatherings of all sizes.

We will also serve cookies during the swing band and dancing portion later in the evening. Our cookies are from the Cookie Cart, a non-profit organization that teaches life, leadership, and employment skills to teens of color in their Minneapolis and St. Paul bakeries.


Q: What about beverages?

A: We will have a "paper ticket" bar ($10 per ticket) of wine, beer, and cider throughout the night. 1 $10 ticket = 1 alcoholic drink. Non-alcoholic options, including water, soda, and bubbly water, will also be available at no cost.


Q: Is there an age restriction for guests?

A: Yes, this event is for guests age 21 or older. Young adults are welcome to purchase tickets and join in the fun, as long as they are 21 or older, since we will be serving alcohol. We will provide separate refreshments to our youth performers.


Q: Are there tables available for Hot Notes like in prior years?

A: No, we are not offering the VIP tables up front this year. Instead, we are fitting more seats and all tickets are General Admission Seating for $75 per person.


Q: What if I want to pay for my donation and auction items with a payment form other than credit card?

A: This is a cashless event, and we only accept credit cards via our Hot Notes site. You may wish to bring cash to tip the bartenders (optional).


Q: Can I purchase tickets at the door?

A: Yes! We will sell tickets at the door, but your check-in process will be faster if you purchase your tickets online in advance.


Q: Is there a silent auction this year?

A: Yes! You can bid online on silent auction items the week before the event. Our online silent auction will close at 7:45 PM sharp the night of the event, Saturday, 2/11. For our 20th Anniversary, we are also bringing back a live auction with a professional auctioneer and comedian, Miss Shannan Paul. 


Q: How do I bid on live auction items?

A: We will have a live auctioneer and bidding via your bid number card. You may pick up your bid number card at our check-in tables, organized by the first letter of your last name by the front door.


Q: What is the Giving Moment?

A: During the event, our auctioneer will ask for donations, auction-style, to help fund our performing arts programs. If you raise your bid number for a donation, we will charge your credit card on file. 


Q: What and when is the Heads or Tails beads necklace game?

A: Our Heads and Tails game isn't your usual raffle; it's a fun, novel way to allow you to participate at a low price point. It operates like a standard raffle but with a twist! The price per necklace is $10, with a chance to win $250 cash at the night's end! Due to time restrictions in our event schedule, there is a limit of 3 bead necklaces per person to play. Performing Arts students will walk around the front entry and games room to sell necklaces between 6:30 PM - 7:45 PM.


Q: What is the event hashtag?

A: #southwestperformingarts and #hotnotes2023 and/or tag us @southwestperformingarts. Thanks for sharing the event on social media. Please be mindful of student privacy and don't post photos of minors without permission.


Q: Will professional photos be available for sale again this year?

A: Yes! You can purchase professional photos from our Hot Notes photographer, Amy Jeanchaiyaphum. All Hot Notes attendees will receive a link to the official Hot Notes photo gallery within seven days of the event.


Q. What if I can't attend the event yet still want to support SWHS PAC?

A: You can make a donation on this site under DONATE.


Q. Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

A: Contact our Southwest Performing Arts Council President and Hot Notes Chair, Margo Farrell, at [email protected]