Performing Pianist Building Bridges Between Artists and Communities

by Jill Timmons

It’s New Year’s Day and I am looking out on the beautiful Netarts Estuary. I’m excited to begin 2019, and here in Tillamook. I moved here three years ago to anchor my company in Oregon and to live close to nature. Although I am a fourth generation Oregonian, I have lived in various places throughout the US as well as in France. But the central Oregon coast beats them all!

Through my company, Artsmentor, LLC, I work as a performing artist (pianist), music educator, consultant, and author. I also enjoy grant writing and assisting non-profits. My company works mostly throughout the US but occasionally in France.  My mission is to build bridges between artists and communities, bringing the power and inspiration of music to all ages, all cultures, and all locales, and to foster a thriving environment for the performing arts.

There are two things that can bring people together, and promote understanding, sometimes almost instantaneously: music and food. When we enjoy the music or cuisine of a community or locale, we can learn a lot from the foods and preparation from that particular region. Think of our own county. Where else can you get the best oysters?! When you partake of this special delicacy, you know that Netarts has been home to this harvest back to the Native American communities that were first here.

Music is much the same. If you visit the rugged Atlantic coast of Brittany, France, for example, you will find an ancient seafaring culture—much like on the Oregon coast. The Breton people are known for their heartfelt sea shanties and distinctive bagpipe and oboe. And of course their cuisine is filled with fruits de mer (seafood), just like here in Tillamook.

I grew up spending my summers in a modest cabin with my family in Manzanita. In those days, Manzanita was a one-horse town.  When we weren’t exploring the local community, we were fishing out of Tillamook Bay. I still get a thrill landing a big salmon! My dad and I were even rescued at sea by the Coast Guard. But that’s another story…

These days in Tillamook, we are experiencing a wave of exciting growth and development in our community. Just think of Highway 101. All things are possible! I am proud to live here, to anchor my business in this community, to meet so many vibrant and entrepreneurial people, and to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce. I hope you will join me next September for the second annual Piano Arts in Netarts music festival. Our opening concert is September 5. All events are held at the Netarts/Oceanside Firehouse and the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce website will have details in a few weeks. This opening concert, by the way, is free and open to the public and will also serve as a freewill offering for the Firehouse rescue efforts in our community.

It’s stopped raining and the tide is out. Time for a walk to Oceanside!

Jill Timmons has performed internationally as both a solo pianist and ensemble artist and has offered performances and educational residencies on three continents. Timmons, has been a featured artist on National Public Radio, has performed under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Arts and has recorded on the Laurel, Centaur, and Capstone labels. Ken Burns chose music from her Amy Beach recording for the soundtrack to his PBS documentary, The War. She received an NEA fellowship award for the recording of the complete works for solo piano by American composer, William Bergsma. As an award-winning author, Timmons has written on topics that include entrepreneurship, and volunteerism within the arts and humanities. She is a recipient of the Wilk International Literary Prize from University of Southern California. In 2013, Oxford University Press published her career guidebook: The Musician’s Journey: Crafting Your Career Vision and Plan. Timmons holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Washington and is professor emerita at Linfield College. Currently, Timmons is an artist/teacher affiliate with Classic Pianos at their flagship Portland store and in their affiliate locations in Bellevue, Denver, Anchorage, Las Vegas, Boston, and Albuquerque. When she isn’t making music, you will find her exploring the natural wonders of Tillamook County.