Youth Music Project
Before heading to the Oregon Jamboree Music Festival, I wanted to stop by the Youth Music Project in West Linn, OR. Boy, was I impressed!
When I arrived, I was greeted by Executive Director Emerita, Rachel Sneddon, who took me on a tour of this fantastic facility. I got to check out YMP’s impressive recording studios, drum labs, practice rooms, performance areas and much more. Everything that anyone could need to start a band, from printing t-shirts to producing an album, is all under one roof for the 3,000+ kids they enroll annually.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store has the pleasure of being the sponsor for Youth Music Project’s summer camps this year for 210 students. Of those students, half of them are able to attend for free!
Founders, Dave and Sally Bany (Rachel’s parents), started the organization while their daughters were in school because they wanted to give their children, and others, the opportunity to pursue their passion for music. What started as a mobile initiative that brought instruments to schools, eventually moved to a three bedroom house and finally, three years ago, to their currently facility.
I sat down with Executive Director, Travis Magrane, as he shared more information about the organization and all of the great work that’s being done to help kids collaborate, communicate, express emotions and learn. His passion for this organization was evident as he shared how important these opportunities are for giving kids a voice, helping them deal with challenging situations and providing an outlet/safe space.
“We provide a positive, supportive place for joyful integration.” – Travis Magrane, Executive Director of Youth Music Project
Just a few months ago, country music star, Lauren Alaina, performed with students from Youth Music Project at the opening of Cracker Barrel’s Tualitan, OR location. This past weekend, four students from YMP were given the opportunity to take the stage with Lauren and perform a song at the Oregon Jamboree Music Festival in front of hundreds of people!
I was able to give some high fives to the kids as they came off the stage. Their excitement was something I will always remember and I’m sure it’s a day they will never forget. They rocked it on stage and I’m now regretting not getting their autographs for when they become even more famous!
Oregon Jamboree Music Festival
It was a hot weekend in Sweet Home, Oregon, but that didn’t stop thousands of people from coming to Oregon Jamboree Music Festival. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store was there to share in the fun of the weekend, with performances from Drake White and the Big Fire, Jason Aldean, Chris Janson, Little Big Town, Lauren Alaina, Kenny Rogers, Home Free, John King and more.
Cracker Barrel had an backstage artist tent where musicians were interviewed prior to taking the stage (and shared what their favorite menu items are, of course). We had a Cracker Barrel booth with folks from our Talent Acquisition team and Tualatin store staff there to meet potential employees for our Tualatin and upcoming Beaverton stores, and a signed Cracker Barrel rocker was presented onstage to one of the festival’s longest standing volunteers. We made sure everyone there knows that Cracker Barrel is glad to be home in Oregon!
We were backstage with a few of the musicians as they enjoyed college gear from their favorite schools, like Alabama and Minnesota Tailgate Toss Games, a Georgia Tailgate Table, a Georgia Hardwood Rocking Chair and more from our online store, shop.crackerbarrel.com. Be sure to check our social media pages in the coming weeks for videos from our fun time backstage!
While hanging out with the musicians, we got to hear stories about how Cracker Barrel is one of their favorite places to stop while on tour, how they worked for Cracker Barrel as a server for several years and can still remember which specials are on which days, and letting us know, once and for all, which side they’re on as far as biscuits or cornbread.
It was truly a pleasure getting to know some of the performers, meeting festival attendees and sharing our love of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store!