Opinion

Hodge: Local musicians, singers rally to help a fallen friend

What comes around, goes around—and as far as I am concerned (and many others) Floyd has it coming to him.

Unless you have been hiding under a very large rock of late, you are likely aware of the upcoming FloydFest on Sept. 6 set for the Kelowna Community Theatre.

Floydfest is a fundraiser planned to assist popular Okanagan rock n’ roll musician Floyd Vedan, who was brutally attacked last month and spent several weeks recovering in hospital.

Organizers of the event, including local music legends Jim LeGuilloux and Brad Krauza, are anticipating the upcoming concert and silent auction to be the music highlight of the year.

A plethora of friends of the talented musician are rallying around the cause donating their time for the show.

The night is already looking like the who’s who of Okanagan musical talent.

The latest (and for me the most exciting) announcement of musicians taking part was made earlier this week when award winning roots/country artists The Cruzeros agreed to reunite for one night as one of the headliners of the evening.

Curtis Tulman, Barry Mathers, Gary Smyth, Rod Millar and crew, say they are ‘ready to ride again’ in assisting Floyd.

Fittingly, it was Tulman who put the amazing energy of the upcoming show into perspective when he told me, “I’m not surprised at all with how the community has rallied behind this event. Floyd is a huge part of the musical fellowship in the valley and he has always been a leader in good deeds.

“Floyd has always, always been there to help others and so I’m not surprised at the outpouring of support from folks.”

Well spoken, Mr. Tulman.

Joining The Cruzeros on stage on Sept. 6 will be a number of other amazing musicians including Darby Mills, The Flu, Fields of Green, Leah West, Jane Eamon and Gord, Gary Turlock (this boy can sing folks—wow), the Zamboni Brothers (best party band in the valley) Andrew and Zachari Smith—the list goes on.

Admission is by donation at KCT with doors opening at 6 p.m. and music starting soon after. Rose’s Water Front Pub hosts the evening and an after party is set for Rose’s following the concert.

Anyone wishing to donate items for the silent auction is encouraged to call Bernadette at 250-215-5777.

•••

Before the clock ticks too much further, a hearty round of applause and congratulations to local music legend Rann Berry.

A few weeks back Rann performed his One Hit Wonder’s showcase at Kelowna Community Theatre and a packed house was more than delighted with the show.

Considering the amount of talent Berry has, I am not surprised the evening was a huge success from the opening act to the final tune of the night.

He led Kelowna music lovers down memory lane with his continuous set of great tunes by one hit wonder musicians.

If there is any true ‘crooner’ in Kelowna aside from Robert Fine, it’s Rann Berry.

He even looks like the sort of musical star that should be strutting his stuff in Los Vegas.

Thankfully, for Okanagan music fans, he lives here and we have the pleasure of watching him perform.

Top-notch job, Rann. Well done.

•••

Speaking of successful, musical people—yet another tip of the hat to Noel Wentworth and the Wentworth Music Education Centre in Kelowna.

Now in its eighth year of operation the music school has gained a reputation for putting on the largest student rock productions in Canada.

The shows give students a chance to perform under lights, effects, pro sound and tour-like staging twice a year in front of sold out audiences.

All proceeds from these shows are donated to local hospitals to assist children.

To date, Wentworth Music has raised over $81,000 to help kids in Kelowna and Vernon. Amazing.

Last week Noel and students enjoyed their most memorable musical moments.

Under the direction of Noel and associate instructor, Kerry Rottacker, six students and parents from the WMEC in Kelowna took a trip of a lifetime to perform and tour Australia.

The student band, called The Hits—Wentworth Music’s Elite Student Band, consisted of Katia Wells-Green, Riley Russell, Adam Pendleton, Riley Bentham, Chelsey Ivarson and Tyler Sarris.

The group performed shows and worked alongside some of the best professional coaches in the country as well as took in the sights of Melbourne and Sydney.

To learn more about the school go to www.wmec.ca or contact Noel Wentworth at 250-860-2251.

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