Sunday Showcase talent show brightens Father’s Day


Last updated 6/18/2019 at Noon

Brave local folks shared their talents onstage at Sisters Farmers Market last weekend. It was the first Sunday Showcase Talent Show of the year — and, despite technical difficulties, a success.

As a preview, Paul Alan Bennett brought his charming and original song-smithery to the Songbird Stage, accompanied by ukulele.

Then the small-town talent show got underway. A little girl told an old joke with a new twist, getting a big laugh. Young kids in animal costumes gazed at the audience, forgetting to do the Hokey Pokey for their performance.

“It was so sweet!” said one retiree in the audience, who said she has lived in Sisters for years. “This is what you want your town to feel like.”

Teenage singer-songwriter Midnight sat over her notebook, inscribed with a new song. The market’s donated amplifier blew a fuse for the second time that day. While organizers ran to Ace Hardware, Midnight comfortably premiered her song unplugged.

Activists raised awareness about the importance of wolves to Oregon’s ecosystems, gathering kids onstage to dress up as wolves. The audience got to howl, too, in advance of that night’s full moon.

Matt Puccio is a singer-songwriter and guitarist who works and lives at Camp Tamarack up near Suttle Lake. He planned to use a looper, some effects, and a microphone. Then the amp blew a third fuse.

Puccio gamely performed raw acoustic. The crowd gathered close to the bandshell stage, enjoying its crescent of shade. His songs were catchy and fun, focusing on the environment.

“Oh honey, please, do it for the bees,” he sang while children hollered in the background, running through the splash pad fountains. “If you love how honey glistens/And preventing the collapse of our ecosystems… All it takes is plantin’ flowers/Then makin’ your voice heard to the powers.”

Market Manager Rachel Kelleher enjoyed the performance so much she invited him to play at the farmers market next Sunday.

The good-natured crowd scrambled to find a portable stereo so that dance acts could perform. Several middle schoolers presented choreographed routines set to pop songs. Addison Russell performed an emotive, expressive dance.

Allison Ilmberger danced a solo number, then in a group with Savannah Baldwin and Camille Leahey. Buoyant and sometimes fierce, they danced with passion and confidence.

Young Frankie Borla tore it up on the drums, quickly assembling a full kit. He sent rhythmic grooves reverberating throughout the park — no amplification needed.

Organizers promised to have a backup sound system on-hand for the next Sunday Showcase Talent Show, slated for August 25. Locals of all ages who’d like to share their jokes, skills, talents and creativity are invited to join in the fun. Contact Jennie Sharp to inquire, at [email protected] or 541-645-0688.

Starshine Theater produced the Father’s Day show and a free performance workshop for kids, in collaboration with the market. Starshine will premier its week-long camps through Sisters Park & Recreation District this summer.

Sunday Showcases are part of a larger effort to revitalize Sisters Farmers Market, which faced potential closure. The market has moved to a new day and time, Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through the end of September. Lunch with shaded seating, activities for kids, workshops and demos, strong vendors, and a serious marketing push are underway.

So far, efforts have been successful. Organizers estimated Sunday’s attendance at about 165 people, well above last year’s low of under 20.

“The challenge is keeping this up through late season,” said T. Lee Brown, whose new title is Director of Marketing & Special Ops.

“We’d love to have more volunteers helping us get the word out,” Brown said.

Contact [email protected] to offer help with flyers, posters, online calendars, or other outreach.

The Sunday Showcase programs encourage community activity at the Farmers Market. They are funded in part by a grant from the Roundhouse Foundation. Sponsors include Metabolic Maintenance, Cottonwood Café, She Soars Psychiatry, Plazm, The Nugget Newspaper, SPRD, and XPress Printing.


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