Author: Cornish, Rick

May’s CBA Board Meeting

Good morning from Whiskey Creek, where, for the time being anyway, everything is eye-poppingly green. Far and away the loveliest season up here in the Mother Lode.

The now 13-member strong board of directors met on Saturday and, as you’d expect, most of our agenda centered around the upcoming Fathers Day Festival…..and oh what a good one it’ll be.

Lisa Burns reported on sponsorships for this year’s festival and the board gave her a standing ovation at the end of the report. Best sponsorship total….. EVER.

Rich Evans and Rick shared the latest on the special 35th Anniversary commemorative t-shirt that will be available at the FDF. This is a shirt in addition to our regular festival t-shirt offering and I think it’s one that a lot of people will want to take home. Thanks to John McKelvy (lead singer in the Black Crown String Band) for a wonderful design, and of course to Mark Varner who dreamed up the concept.

Montie Elston and Tim Edes, our Festival Director and Co-Director respectively, led a lengthy discussion on last minute preparations for the big 2010 extravaganza. We’re looking at a few changes from past years owing to our most recent contract negotiations with the Fairgrounds folks. Nothing too alarming. Of course we’ve been promoting our newest festival feature, an inflated “Bounce House” for the youngin’s. (Youngin’s as in not BIGGIN’S.) Deb Livermore is fishing for the volunteers to help oversee the B-House. If you think that this sounds like a job for you, send Deb a note at And of course Larry Baker was there to report on concessions that have been booked this year. We’ve got some new ones to look forward to this year, but we’ll keep you in suspense for now.

Lisa Burns reported on Music Camp registration stats and the board was delighted to hear them:

--192 full-time students, 9 half-time (half price) students,
--15! Kids signed up for Fungrass (ages 4-10).
--76 people coming to camp for the first time
--108 campers are CBA members
--24 kid campers aged 10 to 17, and one 7-year-old
--14 campers coming on full or partial scholarships

You’ll recall that we piloted a new Winter Music Camp this past February. Our only concern was that the winter event might reduce interest in the summer camp. That DID NOT happen. As always, hats off to camp director Ingrid Noyes. This camp will be one of the best ever. Our tenth.

Next, the board heard and accepted a proposal from Bruce Long, our Lending Library Manager, to purchase a half size bass fiddle. This is a real beauty, a Kay in excellent shape, and will take its place along side our ¾ size bass. Nearly all of the instruments in the library are donated; however, when we have a gaping hole in our inventory, as was the case with the ½ bass, we use money donated to the program to make selective purchases.

I was honored to propose to the board of directors the creation of a new volunteer position, Media Liaison, and to nominate Brooks Judd for the job. For years now, Brooks has used his uncanny knack for getting call backs from newspaper and broadcast people to promote CBA events. This will make it official, assuming of course, that Brooksie accepts the appointment. Here’s hoping.

Reports came next. Membership—up. FDF ticket sales—about where they were last year. Treasury—sitting pretty.

After pizza for lunch we ended with a report from our Talent Advisory Group (Mark Varner, Carl Pagter and Angelica Dorfel). The board accepted their recommendations for three headliners at the Fathers Day Festival 2011. As soon as we nail the contracts down we’ll announce the bands.

All in all a good meeting. No board meeting in June….our vacation. See you all in a few weeks. Oh boy.

event that is over a year away, the 2011 FDF festival. Carl Pager, Angelica Grim and I have been working on bookings that would allow us to announce two headliners for the 2011 festival at this year’s festival – just to whet folks’ appetite for attending next year’s shin dig. I’m pleased to announce we have gotten one of our selections formally booked for 2011. That act is the Travelin’ McCourys. Besides the core group they have had artists such as singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley joining the group for performances.

Here’s what they have to say for themselves:

“Ron McCoury on mandolin, Rob McCoury on banjo, Jason Carter on fiddle, and Alan Bartram on bass , with featured guests on guitar and vocals, is the latest incarnation of the most awarded band in the history of bluegrass -The Del McCoury Band. Known for their individual prowess on their instruments and their rapidly expanding reputation as collaborators with the members of numerous musical icons from Vince Gill to the Allman Brothers and Phish, this touring unit blends the best of the Appalachian tradition with the improvisational magic of jazz. Unique live collaborations are the hallmark of their performances, and demonstrates why critics and musicians across the country hail them as the best bluegrass band in the world.”

TAG is still working on securing and announcing a second 2011 headlining act. The names we’re working on will be sure to please many a bluegrass fan.

Moving on, thinking about this weekend rather than next year, jammers have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful Golden Gate Park at the CBA’s yearly picking party that takes place there on this coming Saturday, the 22nd of May. This is a highly recommended jam. San Francisco is bursting at the seams with fine musicians. Several jam circles will be going at once, playing some good solid bluegrass and old time music.

Here’s what your hosts Jeanie and Chuck Poling say:

Saturday, May 22
Annual Pickin’ Picnic in Golden Gate Park
Sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association
Hosted by Jeanie & Chuck
Noon to 6 p.m.
Dahlia Picnic Area just east of the Conservatory of Flowers

Here’s more info:

“We do this every year to help promote bluegrass music in general and the California Bluegrass Association in particular. We encourage folks to start making plans now to attend the big CBA festival in Grass Valley, June 17-20. In fact, we’ll be holding a free drawing to win a pair of tickets to the festival in Grass Valley.”

See y’all soon! Your pal,
Mark Varner

Posted:  5/18/2010

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