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*Ten Years of Musical Bliss: Rich Douglas & Brother Joel Celebrate a Decade at Cortland Opry House*




Cortland, - A decade ago, music enthusiasts Rich Douglas and his brother Joel embarked on a heartfelt journey to bring together local musicians and create an intimate space for artistic expression. This journey led to the birth of the Cortland Opry House, a cozy haven for melodies and harmonies that has become a cherished institution in the community.


Nestled within the quaint streets of Cortland, the Opry House is a small yet inviting building that has witnessed countless nights of musical magic. Its stage, though expansive, is dwarfed by the enormous circle of chairs surrounding it, each equipped with amps and microphones. This setup forms the backdrop for the Opry House's signature jam sessions, where a vibrant tapestry of sound comes to life.


On any given evening, 17 or more passionate musicians gather at the Opry House, armed with an array of instruments ranging from brass horns to guitars, basses, violins, fiddles, and banjos. The beauty of these jam sessions lies in their spontaneity – musicians take turns selecting songs of their choice and announcing the key in which they'll be played. What's truly remarkable is that very few of them rely on sheet music; instead, they play by ear, a skill that has earned them well-deserved admiration.


The musical journey that unfolds within the Opry House is a genre-spanning adventure, traversing country, bluegrass, old hymns, rock, and faith-based tunes. The age range of the participants mirrors the diversity of genres, with musicians as young as 6 and as seasoned as 92 coming together in harmonious collaboration.


Rich and Joel's dedication to this musical haven extends beyond the walls of the Opry House. The community enjoys their performances at local events, and they host regular sessions both at the Opera House on Tuesdays and the Senior Center on Thursdays. This weekend, on August 12th, they'll grace Hallam Park with their melodious presence as part of a Potluck picnic event.

Having had the privilege of joining one of their jam sessions, it's hard to put into words the enchantment that fills the room. Sitting amidst individuals who have nurtured a lifelong passion, witnessing the convergence of talent and experience, and feeling the soul-stirring harmonies – it's an experience that leaves an indelible mark on the heart.


As Cortland's musical community continues to flourish under the guidance of Rich Douglas and Brother Joel, the Cortland Opry House stands not just as a venue, but as a testament to the enduring power of music to unite, uplift, and inspire.

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