Make the McKenzie Connection!

Caddisfly Concert's inaugural show a grand success

VIDA: Caddisfly Concerts, a new organization dedicated to bringing live music to the McKenzie River Valley, got off to a successful start late last month with its first show at Gate Creek Ranch in Vida. Three top-notch bands entertained the Sunday afternoon crowd on a grassy lawn surrounded by towering trees. Tapping toes and murmurs of approval echoed through the audience, relaxed on blankets and lawn chairs.

Three bands, Melissa Ruth and the Likely Stories and Neil Gregory Johnson from Douglas County, and Sugar Pine from Eugene, offered the crowd a variety of musical genres from bluegrass to country to blues.

"It was well-organized and presented in a secure and beautiful setting, so guests could sit back and enjoy the wonderful music and beautiful summer day," said Nadine Scott, president of the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce, one of the sponsors of the event. After a couple of challenging years, "It brought our community back together, with smiling faces and fun for all." The McKenzie Community Partnership, formerly the Community Development Corp., was also a sponsor.

"The professional approach and execution of the show" were noted by Carol Tennenbaum, chair of the Chamber Tourism Committee, which provided seed money for the event. "Growing the event to attract overnight visitors, especially in the early fall through late spring, would benefit the local economy," said Tennenbaum.

Several people complimented the sound quality, including professional sound engineer Michael McDonald of Eugene. "Every instrument was well balanced and blended and vocals were clear and easy to understand, sitting on top of the mix as they should, so the artist's story can be gifted to the audience," said McDonald.

Event director Chris Baron said he was "impressed with the many community members who believed in our live music project, showed up to help, listen and connect with their community." Baron hopes this will be the first of many community music events in the Valley. "All we need is interest, enthusiasm and a desire to come together."

The concert was a benefit for the rebuilding of the Vida Community Center, which was destroyed in the Holiday Farm Fire of 2020.


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