Bandon Showcase History
From: "Western World" - Bandon, Oregon - February 6, 2003
Never in a lifetime of making and peddling wheels of cheese did Joe Sinko dream he would become an impresario. But the recently retired, former owner of Bandon Cheese has become the leader of a newly formed volunteer group called Bandon Showcase, which is determined to bring quality cultural events to Bandon. Classical music, Western music, specialty acts, comedians, blues, jazz - all are on the Bandon showcase radar screen, if the performers are good enough.
"We have a magnificent new theater, the Sprague Community Theater, which is truly a marvelous venue for performances that can entertain and enrich this whole area" said Sinko. "We want to fill that theater with a wide variety of acts - the common thread being that every performance is a memorable evening for all who attend. Already the group has organized two performances for the coming season, and it intends to stage four-performance seasons in coming years.
First is March 14
In August, Bandon Showcase will present Men of Worth - James Keigher from Ireland and Donnie Macdonald of Scotland - who have previously played this area to sold-out crowds. They perform original songs, with music from their homelands as well, all done with great merriment, Sinko said.
"You come to these concerts and, although they are different one from the other, you will be absolutely blown away by both," said Sinko. "That experience is the hallmark of Bandon Showcase presentations.
Sinko, who has roots deep in Coos County, knows Bandon Showcase is not a new concept. "People brought top entertainment to Bandon years ago and did truly great things, for which they got insufficient credit. We don't give a fig about the credit, but we're trying to again bring seasons of excellence to Bandon for the benefit of all who live in this region," he said.
To do that, Sinko said, Bandon Showcase will have to build a following - people from throughout Coos County and beyond who are interested in upscale, quality entertainment, who know they will have a fine evening at the Sprague. "Doing things on the cheap - $500 entertainment at a $10 ticket price - is not what we're after," Sinko said. Indeed, admission to the St. Petersburg String Quartet and gala champagne reception is $30.
Key is Value
Sinko said the idea for Bandon Showcase is not his. "I was approached by Dan and Anita Almich, who had done so much work with Ray Kelley and the Bandon Lions Club, to get the theater built. They were actively involved in the theater management, and wanted to organize a group to bring in an annual package of top flight acts.
"Their goals, and what have become pretty much the goals of Bandon Showcase, are to provide quality, professional entertainment at the theater, to attract entertainers from outside of our area, to underwrite these events, and to promote the cultural capabilities of the facility and the community of Bandon throughout the entire Pacific Northwest."
To do that a core group of like-mined donors each contributed $500 and gave birth to Bandon Showcase, swiftly electing Sinko chairman.
Sinko, who in quiet moments prefers easy listening and classical music, admits he has zero experience finding, booking and presenting entertainers. "But what I can do is keep the focus of the group - keep us from wandering about too much - for my business background has made me pretty goal-oriented," he said.
"I'm really excited about this," said Sinko. "I'm enthused by the participation and support of a whole lot of people - people who don't want to talk things to death, just get things done. We're on a real adventure. And, like any other adventure, we don't know how it is going to turn out. But I have a real good feeling about this one."
Mission: To provide professionally presented entertainment
to the audiences at the Sprague Community Theater and in the community.
Bandon Showcase, Inc. is a non-profit, 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization and all contributions are tax deductible.