Home Music festival The Rotary Club Music Festival fundraiser was a success!

The Rotary Club Music Festival fundraiser was a success!


The band Kern River is recorded by Chuck Barbee. | Kathleen Creighton-Fuchs

2020 has been a difficult year for Rotary Club KRV. With COVID canceling events, they needed a way to raise money to support youth-related projects. After throwing up different ideas, they decided to put together a virtual concert featuring local bands and artists.

As the groups were unable to do any concerts due to the pandemic, they were quick to participate. The club had engagements with Out Of The Blue and Kern River Band, two well-known local bands and big favorites of the valley. They also managed to get a Bakersfield group called Banshee In The Kitchen. They had learned that Dave Redmond, former leader of a band called Riverwind (also former mayor of Whiskey Flat known as Dead-Eye Dave) had just formed a new band called Lost Desperados. He was delighted to join the effort. Helen Smoot, a talented classical pianist and organist at Kern River United Methodist Church, and her friend and jazz pianist Mark McGuire also volunteered. Several of the students who received Rotary Club scholarships and youth leadership programs gave recorded testimonials. Katie Davenport, Pardae Tuttle and Brooke Jeans attended.

Organizers weren’t sure how they were going to be able to afford to hire the professionals they deemed necessary to produce a video worth watching. Fortunately, Chuck and Tammie Barbee volunteered to take over the project for free. They handled the recording of all groups except for Helen and Mark, which were recorded at the Methodist Church by the pastor’s husband, Art Sidner. They also did all of the editing and the hours and hours of work involved in making the final video.

“We just couldn’t have done it without their skills, talent and many hours of volunteer work,” Kathleen Creighton-Fuchs told the Sun of the Kern Valley.

In late fall, they started recording in the backyard of the Kern Valley Museum.

“For this outdoor venue, we have to thank Historical Society President Erie Johnson, Museum Curator Dianna Anderson, Assistant Curators Ron Anderson, John Newman and Roy Fluhart,” Creighton-Fuchs said.

But the recording was then suspended due to a medical emergency. They were finally able to continue recording in the spring.

Charlie Bush, owner of the local radio stations, was called in to be the emcee. Dawn and Elise, former owners of the Starlite Lounge and authors of the Lounge’s popular radio commercials, did a fundraising spot. Bob Woods donated the use of some of his gorgeous photos, which Chuck and Tammie brilliantly incorporated as the background for Helen’s classic performances.

The video was scheduled to launch on May 1 with an outdoor “premiere” on the big screen at the rodeo grounds, with admission fees to be shared between the Kernville Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club, followed by the setting. line of the video the following day. Unfortunately, the wind prevented the event from being able to use the large inflatable screen provided by Orion Sanders, so they had to cancel at the last minute. Not the type to give up easily, Orion and Chuck managed to flip a side table in the back of a truck, and a handful of intrepid people, many of whom had worked hard on the project, stayed to watch. the video on the makeshift screen.

Every member of the Kern River Valley Rotary Club contributed to the making of this video.

“But most of the credit goes to Deanne Schulman, to whom I would give the title of executive producer. She, more than anyone, made this project a reality,” said Creighton-Fuchs.

The video can be viewed on www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFm3zcnvZew.