Arts & entertainment in the Yamhill Valley
The Yamhill Valley offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy music, theater and the visual arts.
During the summer, there are two series of free outdoor concerts on Tuesday nights and Thursday lunch hours. And both draw avid crowds.
On Tuesday nights in July and August, bands perform in the picturesque Oak Grove gracing the Linfield College campus. McMinnville Parks and Recreation and the McMinnville Rotary Club combine forces to sponsor the series.
At noon Thursdays, people gather with sack lunches to enjoy a variety of musical acts. The McMinnville Downtown Association sponsors the Brown Bag Concert Series, which runs from early June through late August.
On Tuesday evenings in July and August, Tunes on Tuesday draws a crowd to Newberg’s Rotary Centennial Park.
Another summer concert series, this one carrying a modest admission charge, takes place at the Evergreen Aviation Museum on Friday nights. Watch for announcements of dates and details.
Singers and bands are regularly featured in the Cellar Bar at McMenamins Hotel Oregon, at Third and Evans in the heart of McMinnville Downtown Historic District. Cornerstone Coffee, at the west end of Third Street, hosts open mike sessions for budding performers the first Wednesday of each month, along with concerts each Saturday night. The Moonlight Theater at 3rd Street Pizza also features live music, as do several local taverns.
Choirs, bands and other musical groups associated with Linfield College and McMinnville High School perform regularly. McMinnville is also home to an adult jazz choir, Vintage Voices, and an adult band, Second Winds, performing at many events.
The Walnut City Music Festival will make its second appearance this year. Bands from throughout the Northwest will be featured at the event, scheduled the first weekend of August in McMinnville’s historic Granary District. The district lies just northeast of the downtown core, within easy walking distance.
In other parts of the county, music is featured at festivals during the summer and year-round in selected venues. Willamina boasts one of the most popular live-music venues at The Wildwood Hotel, attracting performers from all over the region, as well as closer to home.
The weekend of July 18-20, the Wildwood will sponsor its third-annual Americana and roots festival, featuring a full menu of music at the Roshambo Art Farm.
The Horse Radish in Carlton also regularly features live music.
Linfield College’s Miller Fine Arts Center hosts an ever-changing array of exhibits. The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 503-883-2804.
Displays also abound at Currents Gallery on Third Street, the Lawrence Gallery on Highway 18, Arts Elements and George Fox College in Newberg and many more. Both McMinnville and Newberg offer monthly art walks. McMinnville’s is held downtown on the third Saturday of the month, Newberg’s on the first Friday.
Two popular art tours are held each fall.
The Arts Alliance of Yamhill County sponsors Art Harvest, a self-guided tour of artists’ studios in early October. Check the event website at www.artharveststudiotour.org.
In the West Valley, the Willamina Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Coastal Hills Art Tour each November. Call 503-876-5777 for details.
Gallery Theater, at Second and Ford in downtown McMinnville, offers live productions most weekends. Call 503-472-2227.
Newberg boasts two theater groups, the Chehalem Players Repertory (chehalemplayersrep.org) and the sometimes edgy Valley Repertory Theatre (valleyrep.org).
Linfield College, McMinnville High School and other local schools periodically stage plays as well.
The McMinnville Community Center hosts traveling acts from time to time — military bands, for instance, or performances by the Missoula Children’s Theatre. Around Thanksgiving, the popular Oregon Trail Band stages an annual concert to open the holiday season.
Willammette Shakespeare performs among the vines annually at Stoller Family Estate. “The Taming of the Shrew” will run July 31 to Aug. 2.