About Bridger Folk Music Society
The Bridger Folk Music Society is a non-profit all-volunteer organization located in Logan, Utah. We are dedicated to supporting folk music and dance in its many forms. We are governed by a board of directors and supported by a large community of those with a common interest in folk music.
Bridger Folk Music Society is recognized under sections 501(c)(3) & 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Service code.
“Our mission remains the same, and we have been achieving our goals for nearly 40 years. We’ve had tremendous and loyal support from the community, and we are thrilled to be part of the thriving live music scene in the valley. Our plans for the future are to continue to bring the community together around the shared experience of live music.” – Blair Larsen, 2016
In the spring of 1980, Ron Geode, Sue Packer, and Steve Nrny began to recognize a growing need in the Cache Valley area: the area had many great musicians and nowhere for them to perform. Folk music performances were also a rarity, with no organized group of people to produce and promote concerts here. They decided to put on a pilot show, to see if their idea had the necessary interest to come to fruition. Bill Staines was booked to play the local “Newman Center,” to modest turnout. The show was very successful, however, in spreading excitement in the organization among the local music community. The next show, Bonnie Carol, had many more volunteers to make sure it went smoothly.
By this time interest had grown so much that Bridger Folk was able to book Bill Staines again at the Newman Center to a much larger crowd. This was the turning point for the organization as they now had quite a few fans and many volunteers. They were also able to make an arrangement with Utah State University in Logan for use of the Eccles Conference Center for a venue. Bridger Folk now had all they needed to successfully fulfill their mission.
Since 1980, over 200 acts have been hosted by Bridger Folk Society, including: Arlo Guthrie, Margaret MacArthur, John McCutcheon, Trapezoid, Carla Sciaky, Priscilla Herdman, Utah Phillips, Judith Edelman, Rosalie Sorrels, Doug Brown, Greg Brown, John Saxton, Chuck Pyle, Ramblin Jack Elliot, Peter Ostruschko, Martin Sexton, Norman and Nancy Blake, and Kate MacLeod.
Over time the BFMS has matured into an “umbrella” organization that serves as a central meeting place for any and all interests in folk music. A survey was conducted to determine the level of interest in folk music and musicianship in the valley. Using the results of the survey, we were able to put local musicians in touch with each other. From this contact, the twice-monthly acoustic jam sessions began. This association provided the opportunity for several of our local bands to form and coalesce. It also prompted an interest in improving skills and knowledge through providing workshops on mandolin, Celtic fiddling, autoharp, guitar, and Cape Breton fiddling. While we no longer sponsor jam sessions, we continue to promote local musicianship and interest through our coffeehouse and house concert series. In 2003 we also absorbed the increasingly popular Contra Dance Series along with the Cache Valley Folk Dancers. – compiled by Cole Stocker, 2016
Torrey Rodgers – Chair
Eric LaMalfa – Treasurer and Vice Chair
Melanie Ballard – Communications Director