Author: Brandli, Darby

January 2014 President’s Message

Happy New Year! We hope to see many of you at the Great 48 in Bakersfield the second weekend of 2014. It is mid-December now (and I am late with the deadline for the Breakdown) and I know hotel reservations are moving briskly. New this year will be a Teen Jam Suite. Tickets are available for the Thursday night Band Showdown and the Friday night Concert by Special Consensus. All the other activities are FREE.

Last month I gave a mini financial review of 2013 and a preview of what is in store for 2014. What I didn’t mention was the volunteer work that was going on in the background (yes, there is always work invisible to our membership, completed by our loyal volunteers). Whit Washburn, CBA Attorney, reviewed some of our contracts and releases and helped us with some liability issues. Lee Hardesty, our Insurance Advisor, helped us make certain all our insurance policies give us the coverage we wanted. Lee helped us update our coverage for the Youth Program and Lee and Whit also helped us with our background check process for adult volunteers. Montie Elston and Geoff Sargent are slowly helping us update our CBA By-Laws. You all saw some evidence of this when we voted on a specific change during the last election. We are cleaning up language, looking at current and “real” practice, making certain our By-Laws reflect what we are doing now, in 2014 and not in the 1970’s. Rick Cornish is making and selling buttons to generate income (not budgeted in previous years) to update our website. Alicia Meiners, eCommerce Coordinator, identified and had changes made to our on line purchasing system. Our new co-director of Mercantile, Brian Whitt, has computerized our mercantile inventory system and is working some other magic in an application he is implementing to help us track our Mercantile. John Erwin, our mail order ticket coordinator, moved and we didn’t update any of our publications to his new address but have taken care of that now! Josh Michaels, our computer whiz, has his hands full with requests to reprogram, reroute, redo parts of our website eCommerce system. Our huge thanks go out to our volunteers. The CBA is an all-volunteer organization and ONLY exists because of our volunteers and memberships. Want to volunteer?

We have a membership contest January until the March Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival. New members and Renewing members will be entered in a lottery (two separate lotteries) for a CBA jacket. The drawing will take place in Sebastopol. Please make certain your membership has not lapsed and purchase a membership for your neighbor or grown child. We are supported by memberships and memberships are essential for the CBA to survive.

It is now EASY to donate money to our Youth Program via our eCommerce links on our website. We are doing fundraising for the Youth Academy now. Please consider donating money to support this new venture. Your donations are tax deductible. We were able to give scholarship money to every child who requested help attending the Academy in 2013 (known as the CBA Bluegrass Camp for Kids) and we want to be able to do the same in 2014.

Registration for the Academy opens January 1, 2014. Registration for the Academy can be done on-line, via credit card through me or by mail. All enrollees will be first come first served and we filled the camp last summer so I would encourage early enrollment. Remember that we have changed the days to Wednesday (pre-festival) through Saturday (performance Saturday afternoon). I am available to answer any of your questions….see the advertisement on how to reach me.

Excitement is rising for 2014. The CBA Music Camp is lining up stellar faculty again and Janet Peterson and Peter Langford expect to wow us again with a vibrant camp. Sunday through Wednesday pre-festival remain the days of camp. There are some new enrollment options so check the advertisement in this Breakdown.

All the contracts are signed for the touring bands hired for the Father’s Day Bluegrass Festival in June. It is a great lineup and there are lots of California musicians booked. We will have the results of the winners of the California Showcase Bands in the next issue and then the Vern’s Stage selection process begins. If you are a California regional non-touring band, make certain your Area Activities VP knows about you and submits your name to our selection committee chaired by TJ Carskadon. Contact your Area Activities VP in January. Remember that there is a SIGNIFICANT discount for members purchasing EARLY BIRD TICKETS (more than recoups the cost of your membership) so we absolutely recommend you purchase your tickets early.

Of course the CBA has concerts, jams, mini festivals, campouts, meetings scheduled January through May so looking forward to June is not the only thing to do. Please consider donating to the Youth Academy fund: I will be happy to accept any amount via the website, via USPS, by phone call to me….supporting the next generation is important.

Again, Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you at events in 2014.

Posted:  12/31/2013

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