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Friday, August 6, 2010

Saturday Ticket deadline for Merten Music Award benefit

Saturday Ticket deadline for Merten Music Award benefit

Sweden Valley ’s Larry Herbstritt credits the late Bob Merten with sparking his interest in studying music. He has gone on to a successful composing and arranging career and is a driving force behind the Circle of Fifths Music Award.

Reservation deadline is Saturday, Aug. 7, for the fifth annual Robert Merten Circle of Fifths Music Award Benefit, set for Saturday, Aug. 14, at the Coudersport Golf Club. It’s a night of music, dining and reminiscing that has become one of the area’s most popular summertime traditions.

Tickets must be purchased in advance, at $25, for the dinner and program from 5 to 6:30, and the musical performances that will follow. Those who are attending the music portion only, which runs from 7-11, can pay $15 at the door. Advance-sale tickets are available in Coudersport at Olga’s Café and the Second Street Roost.

Sponsorship donations and memorials are still being accepted. All proceeds go toward the Merten Music Award.

The organizing committee announces the following sponsorships to date: Dr. George and Doris Mosch; Heidi Lewis, in memory of Erik Villesvik; Lark Berfield and Eric Parker, in memory of Barbara Potocek and Carrie Austin; Paul and Lugene Heimel, in memory of Joe Heimel, Erik Villesvik and Clara Watkins; Elaine and Carl Butler and Melanie Butler Connell, in memory of Harold Van Wegen and Eugene Butler; Allen and Carolyn Berfield, in memory of Erik Villesvik; and Alan and Andreea Berfield, in memory of Frank Spear.

Checks should be made payable to: Merten Music Award-PCFAC. They can be sent to Merten Music Award, 107 E. Second St. , Coudersport PA 16915. For more information on sponsorships or ticket reservations, contact Carolyn Berfield by email at

The event has evolved into sort of a town-wide reunion as those who were affected by the late Rev. Merten gather to reminisce and pay tribute to a special man while dining, dancing and supporting the worthy cause of music education.

Topping the bill on Aug. 14 is a reunion performance by Ollie and the Go Gos, Potter County ’s regionally famous rock ‘n roll band from the ‘60s.

Although the Go Gos went their separate ways after high school, they were drawn back together in 2004 for a memorable reunion. This summer, they gather again to honor the memory of a man who was a friend, counselor and inspiration to each of the band members.

Participating in the reunion will be Go-Gos Larry Herbstritt, Dennis Barnett, Allen Berfield, Charlie Cole, David Anderson and Jay Pinsince. Jeff Kazimer and Tom Shaffer will also be sitting in on some numbers. Cole has been working on a repeat performance of his popular rendition of “Wild Thing.”

Herbstritt, who was “Ollie” in the band, was the driving force behind the Merten Circle of Fifths Music Award to develop the talents of local musicians through a scholarship.

It was established as a tribute to the clergyman, intellectual, and musician who died in January 2006 and is presented to a college-bound student who plans to study music.

In addition to Ollie and the Go Gos, there will also be some special guests taking the stage during the evening, including past Circle of Fifths Award winners Brianna Bizarro and Derek Brookens, both of Port Allegany. Also on the bill Aug. 14 are local musicians Mike Kamper, Anne Acker, Christin Dubots, Rosemary Wells, Gabe Trimber, Luke Patterson and Stephanie Symans.

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