Community Concert Association marks 70 years
The Post Independent this year is celebrating local institutions’ anniversaries — including our own — with a special feature many Sundays through the year. The PI traces its roots back 127 years, though our volume number is 125, while the White River National Forest looks back on 125 years and Colorado Mountain College marks 50 years. Today we recognize the 70th anniversary of the Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association.
The Glenwood Springs Community Concert Association marks its 70 anniversary in bringing world-class performers to the valley. The 2017-18 season brings performances by:
• Alias Brass, a quintet of young virtuosos playing a blend of classical, jazz and pop with two trumpets, French horn, trombone and tuba.
• Croon baritone Todd Murray with piano and bass ensemble.
• Wind Sync, ensemble of flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and French horn playing masterworks plus contemporary selections.
• Hot Club of Cowtown, a Western string trio of fiddle, guitar and bass plus vocals.
• Glenn Miller Orchestra, 18-member big band with vocalists playing original Miller arrangements.
The association that formed in 1947 grew out of a tradition of nationwide community concerts started in 1927 as a movement to replace the declining Chautauqua tours and traveling minstrel shows. The association struggled through the years of the Depression and bloomed after World War II when the number of communities involved topped 1,000, including towns in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and South Africa.
In Glenwood Springs, the concerts were originally held in the grade school, then in the Hotel Colorado, which was closed for the winter but generously opened its doors for the concert performances. In the early days, the series was classical, but after a performance by the New Christy Minstrels in 1974, the programming became more versatile which broadened its appeal.
Sue Ludtke, the association’s president for 20 years, noted the many volunteers who have contributed to the association’s success over the years.
They include Maudie Weller, a longtime board member, who exemplified the spirit of the association. Maudie joined the Glenwood Springs Community Concert Board shortly after she and her husband, Albert, moved here in 1977. In 1979, she agreed to serve as secretary of the board, a position she held for several years.
All community concert board members are asked to actively participate in our annual membership drive, and Maudie fulfilled that responsibility with enthusiasm and skill. From the time she first joined the board through this current membership year, Maudie was the anchor salesperson for the organization.
Membership salespeople earn one free ticket for every 10 memberships they obtain, and Maudie often earned 20 plus free tickets, representing 200-plus members who owed their membership to her salesmanship. When she became ill in early 2016, the board was ready to relieve her of her sales responsibilities, but she regained her strength and contacted all her old customers for their renewals once more.
Ludtke said the mission is of the nonprofit organization is to provide our residents with the opportunity to experience world-class musical performances at an affordable price. It is served by a local voluntary board with no staff, and no support is sought from local city or county governments.
“We hope to reach many children through our family and student discounts. Some of the musicians meet with high school band students during school hours providing a fun and enriching session,” Ludtke said.
Concert membership subscriptions enable folks to attend five varied and entertaining concerts scheduled from September through April. Cost for an adult membership is $40 for the season, while students may attend for $15 and families of two adults and unlimited children younger than 18 can attend all five events for $90.
Membership in the association has an additional benefit. Through an agreement with the concert associations in Craig, Delta and Grand Junction, local members are welcome to attend the concert series in those communities at no additional charge.
For those who are able to support the series at a higher level:
• Sponsors receive 10 tickets for $1,000.
• Co-sponsors and donors receive six tickets for $500 to $999,
• Patrons receive four tickets for $240 to $499.
• Friends receive two tickets for $120 to $239.
The generosity of higher-level supporters enables the association to continue offering quality concerts. Increased levels of support are acknowledged in the programs and special recognition is given to Sponsors at a selected performance.
Music lovers new to the valley may join the association by mailing a check to CCA, PO Box 214, Glenwood Springs 81602. A membership form is available at http://www.gsconcertassn.org.
Tickets for the season will be mailed in September. Additional information is available by calling Judy Huston at 970-945-5384 or Sue Ludtke, 970-945-8722.