(Photo Above, Courtesy of Sunriver Music Festival)
With its popular Valentine’s Day Concert and Dinner just around the corner and its Piano Showcase returning to Bend in April, the Sunriver Music Festival 42nd Season has kicked off with the honoring of 2018’s volunteers. Jodie Bischof was named the Festival’s Volunteer of the Year and the Executive Director’s award went to George Blankenship.
Volunteer of the Year, Jodie Bischof, has been an active Festival volunteer since the Festival’s birth in 1977. Jodie has served on the Festival Board since 1979. Her husband, Bruce, served as the first Board President.
In 1996, Jodie and a team of music teachers and musicians created the Young Artists Scholarship (YAS) program. Now, 23 years later, Jodie continues as chairperson and the program has awarded over $512,000 to 148 Central Oregon music students.
Jodie also provides orchestra musicians housing every August, serves on the Piano Showcase committee, hosts a special reception for Festival board members each summer, brings numerous guests to the annual Festival Faire fundraiser, accompanies the Three Rivers School choir, and runs an active piano studio. “Jodie’s commitment to the Sunriver Music Festival and her dedication to providing top quality volunteer hours has made a significant contribution to the Festival’s operations,” adds executive director Pam Beezley.
Beezley also announced that George Blankenship was named the Executive Director’s Volunteer of the Year. The Executive Director’s award is given to volunteers that have provided significant financial impact to the Festival during the year. George joined the Board in 2002 and served three terms until 2010. This year, George recruited three foursomes to participate in the annual fundraiser Swings fore Strings, helped organize the Donor Reception at Crosswater, provided housing for orchestra musicians, and hosted a major fundraiser at his home. George retired from UPS after a successful career and moved to Sunriver with his wife Shereda in 2000. He currently serves on the Crosswater HOA board. George has served on The Oregon Community Foundation Leadership council, been involved with Habitat for Humanity, United Way and Mountain Star Family Relief Nursery and he worked with St Charles Hospital for the satellite operation now running in La Pine.
The Sunriver Music Festival has over 200 volunteers that assist with a variety of tasks ranging from office work to housing musicians to organizing fundraisers. The Festival is able to present quality concerts and support music education programs because of the dedication of these valued volunteers.