In late summer of 1995, the Canajoharie Economic Development Committee (CEDC), along with concerned members of our community, recognized the need for revitalization of Canajoharie's core business district. The Mainstreet Committee was organized and charged with developing a plan for the future of the downtown area. Long-term goals were developed and specific ideas targeted that would enhance the appearance and vitality of the community. In the short term, events that would create interest and pride in Canajoharie were encouraged.
During a public meeting held by the CEDC, Bob Buck and Phyllis Lapi brought the concept for Music on Mainstreet before the committee. Our goals were to provide a common place for residents to gather, visit, support their village, and to enjoy free musical entertainment. We also felt that this would be an opportunity to showcase our business district, schools and homes, by attracting visitors from outside of our area. With Canajoharie being 40 miles distant in either direction from any major source of live entertainment, we felt that Music on Mainstreet could provide the same type venue that residents of larger cities enjoy.
So in the fall of 1995, Music on Mainstreet was born. The committee consisted of Bob Buck, Phyllis Lapi, Ron Dievendorf and Jeff Chapple. Being inexperienced and naive, we started the season with a very aggressive schedule. We applied for and received a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts Decentralized Regrant Program, administered by the Schoharie County Arts Council. Our program consisted of eleven shows at a cost of $5000. When we received notification of our $1000 grant award (substantially less than we needed), we had to make a decision whether or not to proceed with our ambitious schedule. By a unanimous decision, we decided to continue. Of necessity, we quickly learned the art of fund raising. The money was raised, the show went on, and the rest is history.
You may count on us to provide a very diverse musical mix of music: classical, Latin and American Jazz, Swing, Older Rock, Irish, Bluegrass, Folk, Blues, Flamenco, Zydeco, Country, R&B.... All perfectly free to the public. We are proud of the caliber of the acts that have performed for us over the past years. Here are just a few of the bands/performers who have crossed our stage:
Alex Torres & the Latin Kings Annie & the Hedonists Aztec Two-Step
Babik Beatlemlania Captain Squeeze & the Zydeco Moshers
Dick Solberg & the Sun Mountain Band Dry Branch Fire Squad Ernie Williams
Frank Vignola Hair of the Dog Harvey Reid
Jay (of Jay & the Americans) Jonathan Edwards Maria Zemantowski
Professor Louie & the Crowmatrix Reggie's Red Hot Footwarmers Roy Book Binder
Soul City Sugar Ray & the Bluetones Sweet Daddy, Cool Breeze
Blue Rhythm Boys The Frank Wakefield Band The Fulton Chain Gang
The Glenngary Bhoys The Lustre Kings The Refrigerators
The Wiyos Tom Rush Woods Tea Company
Zen Tricksters Brian Patneaude Quartet The Puppet People
A NOTE: due to difficulties with our old web hoster, we have created a new site, which you see here. Bookmark it. Please do not use the old musiconmainstreet.com site; it no longer functions but is still out there in cyberspace - we can't get rid of it..
The goal of Music on Mainstreet is to provide a common place for residents to gather, visit, both to support their village and to be supported by their village, by the enjoyment of free and diverse musical entertainment of a caliber normally only found in larger cities, which are distant from us. By having entertainment that will attract visitors from outside our area, we regard this as an opportunity to showcase our various attractions, our business district, our schools, and homes, as well as to bring something unique and different to our area. By the employment of professional entertainers who tour nationally or regionally, we are able to contribute to, and expand upon, the cultural exposure that our local citizens are able to experience. By actively soliciting the support of local business, we can be a part of an increasingly stronger bond between them and our citizens. It is our hope that Canajoharie will come to be recognized as a village with a strong performing arts program, a source of pride for our local friends and neighbors, and seen by other communities as a beacon of what can be accomplished in a small village setting, thereby gaining our community the cultural recognition it richly deserves.