Music from the Taft High School Jazz Band, a meal prepared by a local personal chef, a silent auction and a paddle lift – it all comes together at the Siletz Bay Music Festival’s Swing into Spring fundraiser, scheduled Saturday, April 23, from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Highway 101. The fundraising dinner kicks off the music festival’s 2022 season.
Shellie Stuart, the festival’s new executive director, said the dinner will be prepared by chef DJ Mendivel of Lincoln City. Among the features of the evening, guest artists will perform throughout the evening; a 50/50 raffle; and a silent auction of music, food, wine, art and travel-themed packages, with all proceeds going to the music festival. A paddle raise will also take place in support of the Taft High music program.
Tickets are $100 and are available at siletzbaymusic.org or 541-264-5828. They are on sale now.
The annual Swing into Spring festival helps defray the costs of the September festival, which features internationally acclaimed artists performing chamber, orchestral, jazz and cabaret music. Yaacov Bergman is artistic director and conductor of the music festival. He is also Music Director of the Walla Walla Symphony and the Portland Chamber Orchestra.
“The festival is a source of local pride and community-wide support,” said Stuart. “Lincoln City residents are opening their doors to host musicians, cook meals and bring an international flair to our seaside town.”
She noted that several festival events are free, and festival venues range from Lincoln City Cultural Center at B’nai B’rith Camp to Otis and the Congregational Church in Lincoln City, as well as the Doerfler Family Theater at the Pacific. MaritimeHeritage. Center on the Newport Bayfront.
The festival will take place over 10 days, starting September 2 and running daily until September 11. Its mission “is to bring world-class, multi-genre music performed by exceptional musicians to the Central Oregon Coast”. The festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. Visit siletzbaymusic.org for more information.
Shellie Stuart joined the Siletz Bay Music Festival as Executive Director on March 18.
“This festival was the only thing that could get me out of semi-retirement!” she said, noting that before COVID, she had attended as a guest.
“I was blown away that a small town like Lincoln City could produce such high-level entertainment,” she said. “I wasn’t looking for a job, but when I heard that the festival was looking for a general manager, I couldn’t pass up my application.
Raised in Puyallup, Washington, and previously working in Atlanta, Georgia, for many years, she moved to Lincoln City with her husband five years ago when he accepted a position as director of Explore Lincoln City, the department of city tourism. Since moving to Lincoln City, Stuart has served as executive director of the Bay Area Merchants Association and has organized Haunted Taft activities.
“When my husband was doing his job search, he was mostly looking out east, but our ultimate goal was to get back out west,” Stuart said. “He broadened his job search and was hired in Lincoln City. Moving here from Atlanta was a big change and I’ve never looked back. It’s pretty amazing to be here on the Oregon Coast.
Stuart will lead a variety of festival activities including fundraising, community engagement and liaison with government officials, local businesses, media and the public. She will design and implement the organization’s marketing plan and oversee committee activities while working with festival volunteers.
“I am absolutely amazed by the amount of talent and professionalism on the festival board,” she said. “I feel extremely well supported and have been received with the warmest of welcomes from the board and the community.”
Stuart studied at Washington State University and La Universidad de las Americas in Mexico, where she earned degrees in linguistics, education, and foreign languages and literature. Early in her career, she taught English in Japan and taught high school Spanish and Japanese near Seattle. In Atlanta, she led the nonprofit Georgia Council for International Visitors, where she oversaw the design of professional tours to the state of Georgia for current and emerging world leaders.
“We are very lucky to have found someone with Shellie’s experience who is already a resident of the festival’s hometown,” Bergman said. “His familiarity with the community, his energy and his creative ideas will be invaluable as we navigate this new post-COVID era. She will play a key role in our plans to introduce some very exciting new ideas for the 2022 season.”
The music festival traces its roots to the mid-1980s and has continued since then under various names, taking the title of Siletz Bay Music Festival in 2011. The festival began as a series of informal chamber music performances and has evolved, under Bergman’s direction, into an annual series. In the post-pandemic era, the festival has shifted its schedule from early to late summer.
“I’m in awe of the incredible musical talent that comes to the Oregon Coast each September during the Siletz Bay Music Festival, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work behind the scenes to ensure that the music world-class remains front and center in Lincoln City,” Stuart concluded. “Our community has been generous in their support of this festival.