Really Big Music is hosting what it hopes to be the start of an annual tradition of a music scholarship dance and jam session Saturday night.
The dance, open to all ages, will be held at the Teen Center building and starts at 8 p.m. It will feature live music by two headlining artists and several local musical guests. Headliners are rock ‘n’ roll band Reaper and organist, guitar player and drummer Buffalo Groove. The night will begin with a live pod-cast of the Northern Exposure show, a popular local pod-cast hosted by Vicki Grafing and her husband Rod, both of whom helped coordinate the dance.
The money raised will go to students who need help buying instruments they need for band. While plans for the scholarship are still being finalized, Really Big Music owner Roy Dilts said they will likely receive recommendations from music teachers, and then there will be a board that decides the amount and recipient of the funds based on preliminary requirements.
Vicki Grafing, who helped used her knowledge as coordinator for nonprofit organization Faith in Action to establish the donation fund at Bank Forward, said the board will consist of herself, Dilts and three others.
“He wanted everybody to know that there’s funding for instruments in the town,” Grafing said.
The giving of scholarships will be continuous. “We hope to keep doing this so that we just flood the school with instruments,” Dilts said.
Dilts said for now, he’s calling this a tentatively annual event, but if all goes smoothly, he hopes to have two dances a summer. He also has other ideas for fundraisers throughout the year.
The Really Big Music Instrument Fund will be constantly open at Bank Forward, and the public can drop off or send donations.
All proceeds from the dance and jam session will go to the scholarship fund as well.
Admission to the dance will be a recommended donation of $4-5.
“But that’s just a recommendation; if somebody doesn’t have four bucks in their pocket, I don’t want to keep them out,” Dilts said.
The dance will be held during the Rally in the Valley celebration, and Dilts said, “This is one more thing for people to do.”
An all 80s high school reunion will also be held this weekend, so Dilts is hoping to attract some of the reunion-goers.
A lot of the music that the artists will be playing comes from the 80s.
The two headliner bands and Really Big Music will provide a variety of instruments, including including concert tongs, trap sets and an organ from 1979, which Dilts said sounds really nice.
“There’s stuff you just can’t do without one of them (the organ),” he said.
While the jam session will not have structured time limits, Dilts assured that the dance will not get out of control. “No booze, no drunks, just fun,” he said.
He wants Valley City residents and visitors to be able to enjoy the jam session without profanity.
Grafing said both she and Dilts know how expensive instruments can be and what it’s like to want to play an instrument and not have the funds for it.
“We don’t want music to die just because people are not able to pay for instruments,” she said.