My View – August 2017

For me, August is a special time of year in Jacksonville when two favorite events take center stage—the orchestral season on Britt Hill and the Oregon Wine Experience celebration at the Bigham Knoll campus.

If you’re anything like me, you get a thrill out of watching 100+ classical musicians descend on town and taking over Britt Hill. Somehow, the energy they bring magically shifts and town gets electrified by a group of artists who generally don’t play electrified music! For ten years now, Jo and I have attended nearly every weekend classical performance and strongly encourage you to do the same. With kids’ lawn seats just $10, bring them along and make a family tradition of it. Trust me; they’ll thank you for it later!

On the orchestra’s non-performance days, I especially love the sight of them scurrying around town in their street clothes enroute to the hill, with instruments, morning coffee and (sometimes) kids in-tow. Morning rehearsals have a way of getting me out from behind my desk and up to the hill for a stint, where I find a shady spot on the lawn to watch and listen as every note of a soon-to-be performed piece is painstakingly planned and rehearsed. At these times, I marvel at how Maestro Teddy Abrams molds a piece together, note by note, movement by movement. By the way, most rehearsals are open to the public at no cost—check online at for the rehearsal schedule and take-in a truly unique musical happening you won’t experience anywhere else.

Another truly unique and not-to-be-missed August happening is the Oregon Wine Experience celebration at the Bigham Knoll Campus, running from the 23rd-28th. Under the huge white tents, you can attend classes, demonstrations and dinners, including medal celebrations, barrel auctions, a salmon bake, and a Grand Tasting. The event has grown considerably in recent years and is a benefit sponsored by the Asante Foundation for the Children’s Miracle Network. Every dollar raised helps kids in our community. And this marks the first year that the wine competition will include winery entrants from the entire state of Oregon, with 100+ wineries showing their whites & whites and vying for gold. For information on obtaining tickets, please visit or call 541-789-5025.

This August, join me in celebrating summer on the hill and on the knoll with music and wine in our Small Town with Big Atmosphere!