(The 44th season of Sunriver Music Festival was a financial success | Photo courtesy of Sunriver Music Festival)
The major challenges of staging a summer music festival at two different outdoor locations during a pandemic turned into a financial and artistic success thanks to dedicated volunteers, patrons and musicians, reports Executive Director Meagan Iverson.
“Thanks to our community, most concerts were sold out. You could feel the excitement in the air as the music returned. The hard work of our volunteers and staff, the joy of patrons and the professionalism of our returning 42 orchestra members was heartwarming and deeply appreciated,” states Iverson.
In reviewing season statistics, with a total of 1,571 tickets sold and strong sponsor support, the 44th season of Sunriver Music Festival was a financial success. While the majority of concert attendees were from the local Central Oregon region, nearly one out of three were from out of town. “It’s encouraging knowing that visitors continue to make this Festival part of their summer experience in Central Oregon,” adds Iverson.
From helping set up and build stages, to constantly arranging and rearranging chairs, to working as ushers and ticket-takers, close to 100 volunteers helped with the complexity of staging a traditional indoor concert at multiple outdoor venues.
All musicians were vaccinated and housed in the Sunriver/Bend area thanks to the Festival’s successful “Adopt a Musician” program. This season’s two guest conductors, finalists for the coveted Artistic Director position, also brought a special magic that thrilled the audience and the Festival’s orchestra musicians.
One of the highlights of the summer was certainly seeing Artistic Director candidates Kelly Kuo and Brett Mitchell conduct the Festival Orchestra. After thoughtful review of dozens of audience and musician comments and intense consideration, the Board selected Brett Mitchell to be the Festival’s new Artistic Director.