After experiencing symptoms in February, Marston and his family have faced mounting medical bills as Marston has no health insurance.
"Come Together, Right Now "¦ Over Dave!" will feature more than 200 performers in a two-day fundraiser this weekend for popular entertainer and choral director Dave Marston, 56, who suffers from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
The benefit will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 20, and 3 p.m. Sunday, June 21, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is incurable and fatal. After experiencing symptoms in February, Marston and his family have faced mounting medical bills as Marston has no health insurance.
The Saturday night show will feature solos, duets and ensembles, including many of Marston's former students. The Sunday program will feature choral groups led or inspired by Marston.
Joy and Larry Marshall of Marshall Fundraising Management in Ashland, are presenting the shows pro bono along with all of the performers. The Marshalls say they've had to turn down many area artists wanting to pay tribute to Marston because there are simply too many to accommodate.
"I've always said to Dave, 'You're the hardest-working, busiest musician in the Rogue Valley,' " Larry Marshall said.
The event's name is based on John Lennon's song "Come Together." Marston led the Beatles cover group The Nowhere Men, which performed widely around Southern Oregon. He's said his three loves are the Beatles, Brahms and baseball.
The Saturday concert, "For the Benefit of Mr. Dave!" will headline The Nowhere Men and The Marston Family Singers without Dave but with his wife, singer-actor Tamara Marston, and the couple's daughters, Sarah and Rose.
Also on the bill are Wild Honey Pie, another Beatles cover group, guitarist Bil Leonardt, singer Presila Quinby, Linda Hawkes, Voix Capella, the Havurah Choir, the Siskiyou Violins, Tom Freeman and Paul Jenny, The Grooveyard Trio and others.
The Sunday afternoon concert, "All Together Now," will focus mainly on the choral groups and ensembles Marston directed for many years. The lineup includes the Siskiyou Singers and Ensemble, the Rogue Valley Peace Choir and Ensemble, Rogue Valley Chorale, Southern Oregon Repertory Singers and Chamber Singers, Darcy Danielson and Jim Malachi, Laura Derocher and David Gabriel and others.
The programs for both nights are subject to change.
Richard Moeschl, Mail Tribune arts and entertainment editor, will be master of ceremonies, with Lisa Marie Malovoz, Oregon Shakespeare Festival production assistant, as director and stage manager.
Marston is a longtime musical force whom friends say inspired others to find the music in themselves. He taught music, led choirs and performed at countless benefits and rallies. Even after he was stricken with balance and memory symptoms several months ago, he continued working. He conducted two choir concerts with the Siskiyou Singers in May.
A fund has been established for donations: The Dave Marston and Family Fund, c/o Rogue Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 4550, Medford, OR 97501. Concertgoers will be able to make donation pledges with forms in their programs.
"This is not just a concert," Marshall said, "this is a tribute to Dave. Come to the concert and pledge your financial support to Dave and his family for all they have given to the community."
The family is planning to sell its Ashland home, and the Marshalls are organizing "weekends of caring" work parties the weekends of July 17 and July 24 to help fix it up for sale.
For information about the concerts, visit DaveMarston family.com. For more information about Dave, visit caringbridge.org/visit/marstonfamily/mystory. For more information about the Marshalls, visit marshallfundraising.com.