The View from Here: Music Fest

Amy Podratz

The view from here is rhythmic.

This Saturday my family and I enjoyed the Music Fest at Bates Nut Farm, which was co-produced by the Valley Center/Pauma Music Boosters and Cattle Call, LLC.

Last year was the first time we attended and it was so fantastic that we were excited to see the announcement pop up on social media a couple of months ago.

Music Fest has it all – great live music, fantastic barbecue, a silent auction, raffles, a beer garden, and a beautiful setting. And, most importantly, all of the proceeds go to help the wonderful music programs we have here in the Valley Center/Pauma schools.

Unlike last year, we made sure to get there promptly at the start time. Why? Because this is when the Middle School Jazz Band performs. Each time I hear them I am more and more impressed by their amazing talent. I counted just over 20 students and one fantastic teacher.

Introducing Mr. Beck

The band instructor introduced himself as Mr. Beck. After their performance, he announced the many accolades they had received this year including first place jazz band and first place overall band up and down the state. Our little town never ceases to amaze me!

More than just their wonderful sound, these kids were truly passionate about their performance. From my perspective this is all because of their teacher. He was so great with the kids, and had a ton of energy. He also remembered to introduce each soloist after every song and be sure that everyone received their own recognition — a true leader.

After the middle school, the high school jazz band played. They were just mesmerizing. I mean, these kids can really play! Again, they were led by Mr. Beck and showed talent and passion with every beat.

I also have seen our marching band and the drum line at different events which helps me understand why the music boosters are so important.

Practice makes Music Fest

The kids’ success is surely due to their long hours practicing and great teacher, but I don’t want the supporters to go unnoticed. I see the parents raising money for these kids in every way they can. This booster club could give a lesson on any foundation on how to raise money to ensure their kids can look professional, have good equipment, and travel the state for competitions.

Many, many volunteers worked the Fest doing everything from running the silent auction to selling waters. However, four people really stood out – Jim Cline, Diane Conaway, Duane Conaway, and Anita Baronowski.

Did you catch Diane and Anita on the KUSI News last Sunday? They brought some of the kids from drum line, professionally spoke about this fest, and did a great job representing our little town.

As a person who has put on these types of things in the past, I have no doubt that these four had dozens of helpers who spent many hours for the last few months putting on this great event. And, to them I want to say, it showed.

Valley Center barbecue, etc.

My column wouldn’t be complete without talking about the championship barbecue that accompanies this event each year. The best barbecue in the country was represented and I don’ think anyone left hungry.

I also want to mention the myriad of other bands that came out and rocked the farm until 7 p.m.

Finally, I think it is important to write about the great people at Bates Nut Farm because they are always doing wonderful things for our community.

So, if you missed the 4th Annual Valley Center Music Fest this year; my advice is to not make the same mistake twice. I am sure it will be back next year and you would be remiss to skip it because the view from here is rhythmic.