Event Time: 
December 8, 2018 - 7:00pm
Free for members. Memberships are available on a sliding scale, $15 to $35 a year (or more)

By Bob Fennessy, CCPA Membership Coordinator

On Saturday, December 8, the Community Center for the Performing Arts celebrates its 43nd Anniversary at the WOW Hall Membership Party, featuring entertainment by the Strange Desserts, Cable Quintet, The Almond Butters Band and JAR.  As usual, this event will feature food and beverages prepared by some of Lane County’s best restaurants and suppliers!

A short program will include recognition of the CCPA’s newest and youngest Lifetime Member, Zevariah Moses.  This year thirteen-year-old Zevarish asked all of his family and friends to donate any bar mitzvah gifts to the WOW Hall.  His generous gesture resulted in over $2000 in donations, which, at his suggestion, are being dedicated to getting a new phone system installed at the Hall. 



Strange Desserts is a fun trio of friends that love to make music together over a glass of fine wine and Mochi Ice Cream.  Marty Chilla, Dr. John Haines and Palmer Utterback are delightful company.  Their music is as inviting as a bite of that tasty confection with the chewy outer shell and sweet ice cream filling.  Come and enjoy the creamy texture of familiar songs.

Marty first contacted me about Strange Desserts playing the Membership Party last year.  They had an upcoming gig at The Shedd and thought the WOW Hall party would be the perfect performance place to perfect their program.  At that time the party already had a full schedule and I didn’t want to cut the performance times, but this year I gave Marty first call and the group agreed to play for us.

All of the members of Strange Desserts are longtime supporters of the WOW Hall.  By my records, Dr. Haines and his wife Joy have been members since at least 2004, Palmer Utterback joined in 2001 and Marty Chilla’s membership dates back to 1997. 



Playing music with her best friends, vocalist / guitarist / songwriter Elizabeth Cable pushes forward with the support of a talented cast of characters from the local music scene.  For more than twenty years most of the players -- including Carlito Peres on drums, Boris Canani on guitar and Trey Longstreth on bass -- have been playing in various local bands including Kawaida, Eastern Sunz, Captain Trips and Maca Rey.  Most recently they formed the rhythmic backbone to the band Tour Heads Caravan. 

Joining this array of players is Amy Jones from L.A., who is relatively new to the Eugene music scene -- where she fronts her own jazz band in support of her recordings.

Elizabeth Cable, born and raised here in Eugene, has four generations worth of roots going back to Brownsville, Oregon and is a mainstay performer at the Oregon Country Fair (where last summer I had her quartet play on the Community Village Stage).  Enjoying some recent radio time in support of KRVM, this group has room to grow together and continue musical friendships that are sure to last a lifetime. 

Enjoy the rich vocal harmonies as all five players in this group sing.  Finesse and passion become one as the talent shines strong in their arrangements of original and cover song material.



When I contacted Marty about having Strange Desserts play this year’s Membership Party, he did a sorta ‘bait & switch’ and suggested an unknown act calling themselves The Almond Butters Band.  And even though the band name sounded nuts, I give Marty credit for knowing how to pick talent.  After all, he created Eugene’s most beloved band, The Sugar Beets (WOW Hall debut Feb 15, 1992).  Over the years, Marty has had quite a few side projects and several have played at the Membership Party: Creator 7 (1998), Concrete Loveseat & The Moon Box (2009), a different Concrete Loveseat (2012), The Penny Loafers (2013) and CaraVan (2015).

The Almond Butters Band is a band that loves the classics.  Steeped in Americana and in love with the sounds of the Dead, Neil Young, The Band, Allman Brothers and many more, The Almond Butters Band provides a fresh take on some tasty classics.

ABB consists of Kris McBride on bass, Marty Chilla on guitar and vox, Mike Gelardi on keys and vox, Patrick Kavaney on guitar and vox and Beau Eastlund and Nate Chestnut on percussion.  

Laid back, semi-acoustic jamming and danceable Americana, ABB is a joyful amalgam of some of Eugene’s favorite musicians! 



Last year I was in need of someone with construction skills to help with a basement remodel at my home in Springfield.  I put the word out on Facebook and Dave Reynolds, who was the WOW Hall’s maintenance man back when I first started here, turned me on to a guy named Carl.

I have to say that several carpenter types had looked at the project and were somewhat stymied about the unfinished bathroom.  There were a number of exposed pipes, including one that ran along the wall through the “shower” which had prevented it from ever being used as anything but a tub.  The pipe made using prefabricated shower shells impractical, but Carl had experience in tile setting.  He not only finished the project with tile, he did it on the cheap by finding all of the materials on sale at BRING.

Now if you want to be impressed, ask Carl to show you his cell phone photos of some of the tile work he’s completed that wasn’t done on the cheap.  He’s a real artist!  I was later surprised to learn that’s he’s a musician, too!  Especially when he told me he had an upcoming gig at the WOW Hall!

Formed in Eugene in 2010, JAR is a hometown band with only one rule: Have fun.  They made their WOW Hall debut in February at a private birthday party.  Playing a mixture of covers and original material, JAR focuses on live performances that let the music take them where it wants to go.

JAR is James Drier, keys, vocals and bass; Andy Rollins, rhythm guitar and vocals; the mysterious Robert Hand, lead guitar; and "The Shipwright" Carl Lopes on drums.  Some might recognize Robert as another one of the WOW Hall’s major supporters.

Enjoy local music at the WOW Hall Membership Party, and bring an appetite.  Last year eighty-eight area restaurants and other businesses agreed to contribute prepared food, beverages and other items for a buffet-style dinner.  This year we hope to see a similar number of restaurants participating.  New dishes are presented throughout the event, so you don’t need to come early to get a great meal. 

            The basement will also be offering an assortment of nibbles as well as some special deals on adult beverages that have been donated for the occasion.

            The Community Center for the Performing Arts was incorporated to save the Woodmen of the World Hall from demolition and keep it available to the community.  On December 10, 1975, the WOWATHON began with live entertainment 24 hours a day for five days in order to raise a down payment.  Today, the Hall remains community-owned and democratically operated.  The organization enjoys a broad base of community support, as demonstrated by the members list published in this issue. 

            Each year around this time the Membership Party serves to thank the supporters of the CCPA, a nonprofit (501c3) arts organization.  Admission to the Membership Party is free for members (members note: If your mailing label reads “This is your party ticket” your membership is current; you don’t need the label to get in but it makes it faster).  Memberships are available at the door for $15 to $40 or more (members are encouraged to bring guests at a cost of $12 for adults, $6 for ages 6-11; five and under free). 

Doors open at 7:00 pm, Strange Desserts at 7:15, Cable Quartet around 8:00, The Almond Butters Band at 9:00 and JAR at 10:00. Expect a few welcoming words from CCPA Board Chair Aaron Dietrich, and at some point I’m going to thank all of the party donors and ask your help in putting away some tables and chairs so we have a dance floor.

To become a supporting member of the WOW Hall, or to check your membership status, visit the office or call 541-687-2746 during office hours (noon -6:00 M-F).




The W.O.W. Hall will comply with all COVID-19 Guidelines issued by the State of Oregon and the CDC at the time of the event. This may entail limitations on capacity that might be lower than the number of tickets sold and/or event cancellation.

Click Here for CCPA COVID-19 policies and Ticketweb Refund Information