Summergrass 2018 Instrument Raffle Winners

Tim Curtin, winner of the Deering Goodtime Banjo at Summergrass 2018, has been attending the festival since 2004 with his kids. He recalls that, “I saw it advertised in the newspaper and thought it would be a great event to take my kids to. The atmosphere and environment and quality of music there has kept us coming back. It’s a wonderful festival.” He also remembers that 2004 was the first year of Kids Camp when Bearfoot Bluegrass Band came from Alaska to play and teach at the camp.

Chris Hillman and Herb Pedersen played that year, as well. “Their music was so great.” His kids also fondly recalls the child’s ice cream truck that graced the ditch back then. “All the kids played on that thing. We also made sure we bought festival t-shirts and had some kind of dessert there, too.”

That was 15 years ago and his children are now young adults. Today they play music together and are interested in many kinds of musical instruments. By chance, Tim and his son just happened to be looking at banjos recently as they needed one to add to a couple of songs they hope to record. “When I bought the Deering banjo raffles tickets, I told my son, ‘We’re going to win that banjo!’” and win they did!

Tim, who lives in Hemet, CA, was a factory rep for 30 years and is still working today. While his son and daughter have both performed for the public, he plays for his own enjoyment, is a song-writer and performs with and for family. “I listened to rock & roll as a teenager and then played in a rock band where we did a couple of bluegrass songs.” He is very much looking forward to learning to play the Deering. “I’ve loved music since I was a youngster. Playing is very relaxing for me. I sure appreciate Deering Banjos and Summergrass for making winning this banjo happen. Thank you so much!” And good luck, Tim, with your new Deering Goodtime Banjo Happy pickin’!

Eric Deutsch, winner of the Loar Honey Creek mandolin at Summergrass 2018, moved to San Diego from Madison, Wisconsin in 2004 due to a job transfer. Eric adds, “I put my snow shovel away and moved. I enjoy living here.” He has also been a big fan of bluegrass music for awhile. When he was attending school in Madison, he researched places to hear bluegrass music and found the Cork & Barrel where some live bands featured bluegrass. “Those bluegrass songs really caught my ear.”

As a youngster, he grew up in Buffalo, Minnesota, in a musical family where his mother played violin and piano, and he played trumpet and piano. Today, Eric plays some country guitar and just enjoys playing music. He explains that he always found “playing music is stress relieving and fun.”

When Eric arrived in San Diego, he again researched where bluegrass could be heard and found Urban Solace restaurant’s Bluegrass Brunch happening every Sunday in North Park. It was there he heard the Virtual Strangers perform and found out about Summergrass. He put the festi-val on his calendar, but with his job involving a lot of travel, he had been unable to attend. “Then my buddy, who also likes bluegrass, said, ‘Come on, let’s mark the calendar and do this.’ ” And, so they did that. This year they attended the festival on Saturday and enjoyed the whole experience. “The music and everything there was great.” And his mandolin win was like icing on the musical cake.

Winning the Loar Honey Creek Mandolin has pushed Eric into wanting to improve his skill lev-el and to play at a higher level so he is currently planning on taking mandolin lessons. “This win has kicked my musical butt in gear. Thank you, Summergrass and Loar Mandolins. I really appreciate this.”

Jill Koch, Summergrass 2018 winner of the Martin HD-18 Guitar. Some things are just meant to happen. So it seems with Jill Koch’s (pronounced “coach”) re-cent Summergrass 2018 festival’s Martin HD-18 Guitar Raffle win on Sunday, August 18, 2018.

Jill is part of the team who displays the working Weaver’s Barn during the festival’s 3-day event held at the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum in Vista, CA. During the festival, the Weav-er’s Barn’s volunteers are actively producing textiles of all types and open to the public, so many of the festival fans can also experience these kinds of displays. Other open displays included the black-smith shoppe, the model railroad display, the sawmill, and a tractor parade. The Weaver’s Barn is well known and is the largest such facility west of the Mississippi River, and Jill has been volunteering there for the last four years. During the festival she also camps. “I listen to the bands during the day while I work at ‘the Barn,’ and then attend the Friday & Saturday night shows in the audience area, which were terrific.” And each year, she purchases numerous raffle tickets. “It’s my way of sup-porting the festival.”

On Sunday, the last day of the festival, she packed up and thought about the raffle drawing to be held later that day. “I decided to go on home because I never win at those drawings. Well, I was so thrilled when I got the phone call that I had won the Martin Guitar! My brother, who is a great guitarist & I were so impressed with this guitar. It’s looks and sounds just wonderful!”

Jill has played the guitar in years past, but recently took a class in the ukulele. “I read music and when I took the ukelele class that really got me interested in playing music again. With winning this Martin, it’s a good time for me to learn more on this wonderful guitar, so I’m going to take some lessons. I’m so happy. Thank you, Summergrass and Martin Guitars.”