Steamboat bursaries awarded to local musicians

The Steamboat Mountain Music Society (SMMS) has awarded two bursaries to local musicians.

The Steamboat Mountain Music Society (SMMS) held its first annual general meeting on November 16 and awarded two bursaries to local musicians, both of whom performed at the first Steamboat Mountain Music Festival in Edgewater back in July. The $700 bursary fund was raised from a silent auction and coffee concession sales at the festival.

Mickey Maione is an Edgewater guitar player whose sixty-year-old Gibson was becoming more and more worn out from heavy use. SMMS made a special grant of $400 to assist Mickey in repairing his beloved instrument. Local luthier Fraser Smith was enlisted to rebuild dear old Mr. Gibson, and a grateful Mickey no longer frets over his frets; he just picks and grins, and his music is sweeter than ever.

In the next generation, Elijah Beingessner, 18, is one of the most talented young performers in the region. He plays all kinds of music with ease. The child of a very musical family, Eli plays guitar and bass, sings melody and harmony with his renowned father Marty, and he writes his own tunes. Eli has just produced his first CD featuring one of his own compositions, and has learned a great deal in the process. SMMS awarded Eli $350, which he can use to offset some of his production expenses, or put towards his second CD which is currently in the works..

The 2013 Steamboat Mountain Music Festival dates have been set for Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7. Planning begins in January. Local performers who wish to be considered for the 2013 lineup are asked to contact musical program director Larry Newman at 250-270-0042. Look for more news about the festival in the spring as the plans begin to take shape.

A Steamboat Mountain Music Society membership drive will be opening up early in the new year. Annual fee for membership is $5, but that entitles the member to a five dollar discount on festival tickets, so it is a good deal. Volunteers get free membership and free entry to the festival, so volunteering is an even better deal, although it does involve a bit of work.

Festival volunteers will be needed for gate, grounds, green room, traffic control, set-up, take-down, and stage crew for the weekend of July 5-6-7. Those interested in volunteering or becoming members for 2013, please contact Roberta Hall at 250-688-0314.

— Contributed by Anne Jardine