LOchella brings the community together through music
If you're looking for a fun event to kick off the summer season, look no further than LOchella, an annual music festival organized by Lakeridge and Lake Oswego High School students. The festival will take place at Foothills Park June 1 from 1:30-7:30 and the entire community is invited to attend.
Lakeridge junior Barbara Roehm has taken the lead on the event, securing the proper permits and coordinating with musicians and vendors. LOchella will feature roughly twenty student bands, food and drink vendors, and art on display.
The annual festival was started in 2015 by members of the Associated Student Body at both high schools, and featured about ten performers.
"This year we decided to grow it more to involve more of the arts," Roehm said. "We reached out to the 2D AP art students and the AP ceramics students to either display or sell their work at the festival."
Roehm said that the key to a successful LOchella is the collaboration between the two high schools. "Good communication between the two schools is key," she said. "Everyone that I've been working with has been awesome."
Lakeridge senior Peter Cooley, who will be performing with his band Guam, agreed. "There are a lot of competitive events between the two high schools, so this one is unique because it's totally unifying," Cooley said.
Lindsey McDowell, a senior at Lakeridge, said she was loosely involved in LOchella last year, but wanted to ramp up her participation this year. "It's a really fun event to be a part of. It's great to see the two schools come together to work on it," McDowell said. "I wanted to be a part of that."
Another thing that makes LOchella special, said Roehm, is the fact that it's well-attended by members of the community outside of the school district. "I love that the whole community is involved, not just the students. Last year people would hear the music playing and come by to check it out, and end up sitting and listening. We want more of that this year," she said. "We've been trying to do more community outreach."
This allows community members to hear student musicians while also providing the musicians with a wider audience. "The exposure is really good for student musicians," Cooley said. "I like playing with my friends, and LOchella is great because we're also playing for our friends."
LOchella will feature vendors such as Koi Fusion and Yep's Donuts. Roots Public House, a nonprofit tap house started by Lakeridge math teacher Derek Abbott and his wife, will be pouring kombucha and coffee. They created the public house to support local charities, and donate 100% of their profits.
The lineup is appropriate for all ages, and will feature a variety of musical styles. "It's a great kickoff to the summer," McDowell said. "The first hint of summer
is here, and there's really no better way to kick off summer than outdoor music."