Playing favorites like “Louie Louie,” “Rock Around the Clock” and a singalong version of “You Are My Sunshine,” the Headwaters All Stars took the Welles Memorial Park stage Sunday, Aug. 1 in Breckenridge, Minnesota.
The All Stars included five local youth, participants in the first annual Jam Camp. A co-event with the Headwaters Music Festival, the Jam Camp was also founded by the late Dr. Dave Engstrom.
“”I enjoyed getting to play with new people,” said Mallory Wells, a keyboardist from Brookings, South Dakota. “I liked getting to meet people. I’m here because of my grandparents and the Jam Camp. I wanted to go, so I did.”
Joining the youth were Jam Camp instructors and supporters including North Dakota State College of Science Choral Director Bryan Poyzer and Instrumental Music Director Dr. Adam Hollingsworth, Tony Grubb, Ed Moore, Bob Engstrom and Pastor Jake Dyrhaug, Bethel Lutheran Church in Wahpeton.
“Aren’t they great? This has been so much fun,” Moore said, introducing the Jam Camp participants.
Justin Beyer is a guitarist from Breckenridge. Being able to play music with others was special for him.
“Usually it’s just me in my room tinkering on certain songs. Now, I really get to play with both people better than me and at the same skill level, and that really helps with moving forward with the skill of playing guitar. You can’t just play by yourself and expect to be good,” Beyer said.
Maksim England, a drummer from Breckenridge, agreed.
“It’s just been fun to play with other people that you don’t usually get to play with,” he said. “I’d like to do it again.”
In addition to playing before friends, family and community members, the Jam Camp participants received commemorative certificates and T-shirts.
Two days prior to the Welles Park concert, music lovers gathered on Fourth Street North between Dakota Avenue and Second Avenue North in Wahpeton. Whiskey Creek and Passion co-headlined the Headwaters Music Festival finale, a concert that began at approximately 6 p.m. Friday, July 30.
“The audience was energetic and supportive and we were thrilled to be a part of such a super community event,” said Hagen Gunderson, Passion’s bassist. “It’s great to see the audience enjoying the music and we’re so very much looking forward to next year.”
In addition to Passion’s six members, four musicians and two singers, the audience was treated to a return performance by original Whiskey Creek vocalists Jos Luebke and Bill Schmidt. The band, perhaps mindful of a recent haze in Wahpeton-Breckenridge, concluded their set with “Smoke on the Water.”
Back in Breckenridge, clarinetist Nora Ingrom said that while playing in the Jam Camp was a little difficult, she would maybe want to do it again.
“I liked ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ That was the easiest one we had (to play),” Ingrom said.
Reese Hosford, Wyndmere, North Dakota, not only played the keyboards but showed off her skills as a singer.
“I was a little nervous with the singing,” Hosford said. “I’ve been playing keyboards for just this last year. My grandma (Myrna Ball, part of the event organizing team) got me the lessons. I’ve been singing for about the past year, too.”
Like her fellow musicians, Hosford also liked teaming up.
“The best part is getting to meet the new people. I hope to do something like this again,” she said.
The Second Annual Headwaters Music Festival and Jam Camp was made possible thanks to David Engstrom, M.D., the Richland Wilkin Community Foundation, the Wahpeton Convention and Visitors Bureau, Wahpeton Ace Hardware, Vision Ford, Bell Bank, NDSCS Music, the Red Door Art Gallery, The Boiler Room, Firehouse Pub, Skydive Fargo, Busch Plumbing and Excavating, KBMW, Tractor Supply Co. and Daily News.
For more photos from the Headwaters Music Festival and Jam Camp, visit nabur.wahpetondailynews.com.