Connections – August 28, 2013

By Dolores Bader

Sometimes the most interesting ideas just come out of the blue. During a coffee session with friends on the Monday after the end of the State Fair the topic of the Bill Riley Talent Search show on IPTV the night before became the focus of the conversation. There was no disagreement in that group about the fact that there are some very talented young people in this corn and bacon state!

One thought begets another and someone said, “La Porte should include a talent show with the Festival of Trails Celebration.” The idea had the full support of the small group. The next thought was a question: “Who could get that done?” Think about it. There is more than enough talent in both Sprout and Senior divisions in this area to warrant contacting the Riley organization to check the possibilities. Even if a connection can’t be made, the idea is still worthy of pursuit on merit alone.

The Riley Talent Search Competition marked its 54th year at this year’s competition. A harp solo by sixteen year old Marjorie Gast of Cedar Falls sent her home with a $4000 prize for a second place win. A total of $17,000 in prize money went to winning participants. The show was great fun to watch. I also know from school events that there are youngsters in this community who could easily have matched those performing.

This year’s performance at the Festival by the reunited On the Brink group generated a lot of talk. People really enjoyed the group’s reunion. I heard the comment more than once, “They should come back every year!” What other ideas are in the incubator ready to hatch? The recent Kick Ball tournament at the Lions Complex is one more example of the spirit that says, “If you promote it they will come.” That event fostered a huge gathering. We need to remember that the Festival theme of trails means adventure in many directions. What ideas do you have for 2014?

1 Comment

  1. Marc Kramer says:

    Wow! As a member of “On The Brink”, I just wanted to thank everyone for the kind comments we heard that night, and again in this article!

    We did have great fun performing, but alas, we live in 5 different states, and during the 3 months of preparation time to learn so many songs all at once, and then 2 sets of practices, one 3-day weekend about 6 weeks before the show, and again on the Wednesday and Thursday before the show, sure took its toll.

    I am fortunate enough to only live 25 miles away in Cedar Falls, the rest live between 4 and 13 hours away. However, memorizing 42 songs all at once and “all by myself” practicing (to memorize the songs) every night was quite a chore and my family probably wondered more than once what happened to me! Learning a guitar solo is like learning a song within a song, which actually takes much longer than just learning the chord changes and rhythms, so I had a lot of extra work to do.

    We enjoyed the reunion, but it was a one-off event for us. Unless we all win the lottery or something, it is unlikely we will ever perform together as a whole again.

    I do play in the local Cedar Valley rock band, “TALON”, along with John Schloemer of LPC, and a couple of boys from Cedar Falls. And local LPC boy Dave Brecher runs our sound. We will be performing at P & B’s Brew Pub on Saturday, December 14th. I invite everyone to come on out and check out my “other” band!

    You can also find it on Facebook as “Talon CedarFalls”

Leave a Comment