California Report: New CBA President and Turn Your Radio Online webcasts

Outgoing CBA President Darby Brandli and new President Theresa Behr Gooding

It was good catching up recently with incoming CBA President Theresa Behr Gooding, and getting a status of what’s going on.

Hi Theresa, how are you and your family doing, and how many are at home?

We’re doing as well as most. The upside for me was having all three boys at home with school and live performances canceled. Josh is back in Tennessee now, but I’m grateful to have had a full house for the early weeks of the shelter at home.

Other than the coronavirus, how has the transition to CBA President been for you?

Well, I’ll say this…………very quickly my sons observed, “nice job mom, your first year as president and the festival is canceled.” Other than that, my approach is to not attempt to fill Darby’s shoes. That would be a fool’s errand. My hope is to connect on a personal level with as many of our members as possible; hearing ideas, encouraging participation, building community.

What is the state of CBA affairs after having to cancel/postpone the Father’s Day Festival?

I am so impressed with the hard work, dedication, skill, and creativity that our CBA board and volunteers are demonstrating. Equally impressive is the passion and generous spirit of our membership. It is very difficult for small, non-profit organizations like the CBA to weather significant financial impacts like the cancellation of our festival, but I’m confident that the hard work and hard decisions being made will not only see us through, but also allow us to support our impacted community.

Did you get any interesting messages from artists when the FDF was canceled?

We received many messages of genuine understanding and heartfelt support. This is a time of such great personal challenge for our artists; the words of encouragement sent from them were very touching.

Are there any alternative plans for special events later in the year?

Yes! I mentioned the dedication and creativity of our board, but that also extends into our membership community of remarkable volunteers. Hopefully, you’ve begun to see the promotional materials for Turn Your Radio Online (TYRO), a series of webcasts that will support a relief fund for California bluegrass and old-time artists impacted by COVID19 as well as allow our community an opportunity to gather virtually. Webcasts begin May 23 and run through June 20.  Information is available on all our CBA online outlets including the CBA YouTube channel 

Note: The first of this series is Saturday May 23rd at 6:00 p.m. (PST) and features performances by Frank Solivan, Bill Evans, Crying Uncle, the BettyJacks, and Kathleen Rushing. More information is at www.turnyourradio.online.

What are some strategic long-term goals or directions you think are most important for CBA?

I would like to see the CBA continue its outreach and partnership efforts to expand and strengthen our community of artists and fans.  

Thank you, Theresa, thank you for stepping up and we’re all behind you as we move through this challenging period.

Thank you too. We’ll all get through this together!

While everyone is hanging at home, here are a couple of videos from previous Fathers Day Festivals to sit back and enjoy.

Frank Solivan with Kids on Bluegrass at the 1992 Fathers Day Festival.

2015 Mando Madness – David Grisman, Mike Compton, Roland White, Ed Neff, Butch Waller, and Chris Henry

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About the Author

Dave Berry

Dave Berry is an avid mandolin picker, singer and songwriter who writes an interview column for the monthly California Bluegrass Association (CBA) members publication featuring California regional and national artists who tour California. He grew up in bluegrass country on the Ohio River right between where the Big Sandy and Big Scioto Rivers dump into the Ohio. The columns are also featured on the CBA website at www.cbaweb.org.