“I always knew, implicitly, that I was a musician,” says Scotty Perey, who took classical piano lessons from age 5 through high school in Billings, Montana. He sang in the school choir and taught himself guitar. He studied engineering for a year in Boulder before leaving that career path to study music at Montana State in Bozeman. He moved to Eugene in 1988 and finished a bachelor’s in music composition in 1994. He started giving music lessons at home in 1990, the same year he joined a new band, The Sugar Beets. “We met at the UO,” he says. “Most of us were students.”
Perey still sings and plays keyboard and guitars with the Beets, local festival favorites who will celebrate 25 years of music with their Silver Ball concert, a benefit for arts in education, at 8 pm, Oct. 24, at the McDonald Theatre. Perey’s Madison Meadow Music studio, a converted garage, is computerized to facilitate small-group lessons. “I teach ages 6 to 60s,” he says, “but mostly kids, late elementary through high school.” Perey serves as musical director and a cast member in The Shedd’s quarterly Magical Moombah vaudeville show for kids, and as musical director for Imagine That summer music/theater camps. Catch him with his new band Bella Steel in a debut performance from 10 pm to 1 am Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Hi-Fi Encore Lounge, 44 E. 7th Ave. “Most of the players are former students,” he says. In the photograph, Perey gets cozy with a sunflower in his front-yard garden and a bee from his backyard hives.