Prineville native Brent Joseph has never strayed too far from Central Oregon. After a year in Eugene, Brent moved to Bend to take advantage of all that our town has to offer while still staying close to Prineville. “My roots truly are generations deep in Central Oregon.” Brent’s father’s side of the family came to Central Oregon from Finland when his great-grandmother was just a baby, and his mom’s side has been here even longer, farming in central and eastern Oregon as far back as his great great great grandparents’ generation.
Brent is currently the Assistant Manager at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in the Old Mill District, which has helped him focus on his passion in life: music. “I love performing, stage managing, planning concerts, and bringing music to people in Bend in every way possible.” Music has always been Brent’s escape, giving him something to share with others and something to relate to. “I have overseen operations at the Les Schwab Amphitheater for the past seven years, and I have 14 years of choir under my belt.”
Change also motivates brent. “I have always wanted to be a part of the change I want to see.” As a teenager, Brent was one of the first teens to come out about being gay in his high school. In conservative Prineville, this was a huge move. “I am so proud that I accept who I am and can be happy with it.” Having been brave enough to choose to go public about his sexuality in high school, despite the social repercussions, is Brent’s touchstone for courage every day.
In addition to music, Brent loves the water and spends a lot of his free time in it. “If there’s water, I’m there. I think I’m a fish at heart! Other folks may be relaxing beside the lake, but I’m out in it, swimming and diving and exploring the bottom.” Brent loves the outdoor areas surround Bend and spends as much time as he can in them.
Brent also loves the sense of community in Bend. “You can strike up a conversation with almost anyone here. It’s a magical thing that you don’t see everywhere.” Brent hopes that Bend can remain a place where people engage with others on the street and support local dreams and individuals. He advises newcomers not to be shy. “Engage in every possible way that you can,” he says.
Though Brent loves Central Oregon, he has dreams of spending some time in Central or South America. “I love the Latin culture. I love the language, the music, the food, and the people. I hope to move there sometime, to travel and study music and its place in their culture, community, and history. I want to start with the Latin countries and broaden from there.”
Until then, you will find Brent working at the Old Mill District, diving into local lakes, and doing everything he can to make his friends happy. “Right now my mission in life is making happiness for the people around me. Whether it’s telling a joke, listening to problems, making an inappropriate comment, or whatever….Everybody deserves to be happy, and I try to bring happy moments to my friends and family every day.”
Thanks to Brent for sharing his story of courage and personal integrity. If you want to be profiled in Go Local Bend, or want us to profile someone else, please email email@example.com.