In the fall of 1986, a small group of music lovers got together to create an association that would provide music education for local children and a venue for Methow Valley residents to perform classical music. This group consisted of Mary Thompson, Dee Goodsell, Glenda Horne, Carol Caulfield, Paula McGowan and Nancy Lintz.
At first the group operated under the auspices of the Okanogan Historical Society. They built a band shell on the Shafer Museum property with grant money and donated labor. For several years after the grand opening Methow Valley residents enjoyeded free concerts at the Shafer Museum location.
In 1987, excitement was high as plans were made to have a summer music camp for children. Christine Cherrington spearheaded this effort with Dr. Gil Seeley from Lewis and Clark University as the music director. The camp was called “The Methow Valley Music Festival” and ran successfully for three years. Because of Chris Cherrington’s untimely death, the Cascadia Board lost its energetic director and the summer festival was discontinued.
In 1992 Cascadia received its 501(c)(3) non-profit status and continued to provide music for the valley under the guidance of Carolyn Sullivan as President. Board members came and went, but Dee Goodsell played a crucial role in the direction of the organization from the beginning. She followed Carolyn as president and in July of 1992 saw the fulfillment of a dream when a second band shell was built in the Twisp City Park.
In 1998, Pam and Terry Hunt founded the Pipestone School of Music, Cascadia’s educational branch. Throughout the 2000’s the new music school fluorished, growing to include private lessons in strings, winds and piano, the Pipestone Orchestra (a community ensemble), Pipestone Youth Orchestra, a string program in the public school, and a summer music camp.
~Provided by Mary Thompson, Cascadia Historian