It was standing-room only even after more chairs were added at the Harbor Performing Arts Center on Sunday during the first Stagelights Community Variety Show.
It was estimated that about 100 people attended the concert which featured more than 23 local musicians performing for three hours during the event, a benefit for the Stagelights Musical Arts Community.
Band performing included the Stagelights House Band, RockAway, Sweet Town Little, Bridges, FreeFlight, Matt Harrison and Mason McKinney, and Michael George and Michele Later.In addition, the concert included a piano performance by 14-year-old Samantha Hage, a vocal presentation by 13-year-old Michaela George and guitar accompaniment by an11-year-old, Samuel Strong.
Hage played one classical piece followed by an original composition. George sang with her father, Michael, accompanying her, then Strong joined her for a second song.
The biggest problem for the afternoon wasn’t space, although a few teens attending wanted to dance, but the amount of time available for each group.
“Some of the performers would have liked to play longer,” said Kim Banfield, Stagelights founder and board chair.
The event was free, but donations were accepted. According to Later, board treasurer, a total of $245 was raised for Stagelights, an organization formed to promote education and outreach opportunities to local youth and adults interested in the musical arts.
“I am overwhelmed by the number of music lovers who attended this event, and for the wonderful performances we all enjoyed listening to and/or participating in,” Banfield said. “Stagelights, and its mission have been a dream of mine for the past 10 or so years.
“Offering music lessons and music enjoyment to all ages, regardless of their ability to pay … I couldn’t stand the thought of turning a student away because they couldn’t afford the lessons.”
With the formation of the Stagelights’ board, consisting of herself, Perry Devine, Scott Graves, James Anderson and Later, Banfield said she has had the pleasure of witnessing the slow but steady progress of her dream coming true.
“Now, with the variety show success, I feel that we are really picking up speed and the sky is the limit,” Banfield said. “I am so grateful for the support and involvement of these talented individuals, and without them this would not be happening now.
The Stagelights board has several events planned, including a youth music workshop in mid-July.
Upcoming fundraising concerts scheduled at Centre Stage, 703 Chetco Ave., Brookings, are an rhythm and blues revue with Milan Reynolds at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 8; an open mike from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 15; Rick Shaw dinner show from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 22.
During the Azalea Festival, Stagelights will present two days of music.
For information about Stagelights Musical Arts Community, visit http:// www.stagelights.us.