Farner envisioned a music week to provide for local performers to contribute their talents to the community, and to become an annual event to be conducted “entirely free of commercial profit.” What he may not have envisioned was that Boise Music Week would be alive and well a century later.
The first celebration of Boise Music Week took place in May 1919. In the early years and up to World War II they constructed a wooden platform for the performances in front of the Idaho Statehouse. The event moved indoors during the war when restrictions on the use of lumber were instituted. Event organizers moved the venue outdoors in the 1970s to the bandshell in Julia Davis Park.
Drama productions were important in the early years of Music Week, and local productions of Broadway musicals were added in 1959. Staged events were conducted at local high schools until 1988 when Velma Morrison and the Harry W. Morrison Foundation invited Boise Music Week to perform at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts.
Producers of Boise Music Week still remember the vision of Eugene A. Farner, using local talent and providing free performances for the community. This year’s Music Week will be in May. For more information, check their Facebook Page.
The clipping below is from the Idaho Statesman, May 11, 1919.