According to Festival President and Executive Director Dennis Ramsden, the Southern Oregon Music Festival is in immediate need of at least $50,000 by March 1st if the event is to continue. “In 2016, we lost three of our top-tier Festival Guarantors; one 15-year sponsor unexpectedly passed away, the youth program corporate sponsorship pulled out last minute causing us to cancel our schools outreach program for the first time in the Festival’s history, and the third 28-year sponsor backed out under new management.
“It was a crippling blow, totaling $60,000 in sponsorship. It was a miracle we managed to host the 2016 Festival at all. In order for the Festival to survive, we are calling for sponsors at all levels from $1,000 – $10,000 or more.”
The Southern Oregon event has been a favorite on the jazz festival circuit since 1989. Bands have traveled from the four corners of the US to gather in Medford, Oregon for three days in early October, offering to festival-goers music ranging from Dixieland, traditional jazz, big band and swing to zydeco and rockabilly.
One of the Festival bylaws stipulates a commitment to providing music education to students in the surrounding counties. Toward that end, $25,000 is appropriated annually for educational programs, including the Festival’s instrument donation program “Leave a Legacy.” Since its inception in 2011, “Leave a Legacy” has donated more than 200 instruments to students expressing an interest in learning to play. The Festival collects, repairs, and delivers to students the donated violins, saxophones, French horns, and other instruments.
The infusion of cash is needed urgently. Businesses and individuals are encouraged to contact Dennis Ramsden at (866) 448-1948 to arrange guarantor sponsorship opportunities. Online donations at
www.somusicfest.org/save-the-music are also appreciated.
UPDATE: The Southern Oregon Music Festival successfully pulled off a 2017 event, but it was the last.