Mesa County Concert Association celebrates 70 years of performances
WHAT: Mesa County Concert Association 70th birthday season
WHEN: September 2014 - May 2015
WHERE: Grand Junction High School Auditorium, 1400 N. 5th St., Grand Junction
COST: Early bird season tickets: $50 per adult, $25 per student
It’s cheaper than going to the movies and a chance to see some of the world’s greatest entertainment live. Plus, you don’t even have to leave Grand Junction, thanks to Mesa County Concert Association.
MCCA is currently selling season tickets for the 2014-2015 season. The series kicks off Sept. 22 with Igor Butman’s Moscow Jazz Orchestra performing. Other concerts on their lineup are The Limeliters, Hudson Shad, Ben Gulley, Nashville Live!, Quartetto Gelato, and The StepCrew. The season consists of seven concerts to symbolize 70 years of cultural performances in the valley.
Early-bird tickets are $50 for the upcoming season, which comes to $7.14 a show. Students of any age with a current student ID can purchase passes for $25. Starting June 16, tickets bump up to $30 (students) and $60 (adults).
Season tickets are available through either a volunteer, mail-in check, or by calling 970-243-1979.
“We have had a sold-out season for six out of the last eight years,” MCCA president Bobbi Alpha said. “We sell almost all our tickets through word of mouth and volunteer ticket salespeople.”
Seats may also be available at the door if season ticket holders are unable to make the concert. The cost for one show is $25.
“It’s not worth waiting to take a chance,” publicity chairperson Wynne Bouley added. “Plus, one show costs half the price of a season ticket. It’s silly to not get one.”
HISTORY IN THE MAKING
In 1944, season-pass holders enjoyed a performance by a variety of acts for only $6 a concert. This was made possible by a group of 25 music and theatre lovers who started The Community Concert Association as a way to bring national and international talent to Grand Junction.
Guest performers — like Mantovani or the Russian Jazz Band — would arrive by train or plane, then be driven to board members’ homes, where home-cooked meals and a night’s stay were waiting. The first concerts were held in Houston Hall at the old Mesa Junior College. Once Grand Junction High School was built in 1953, they moved into what was then considered a state-of-the-art auditorium.
Now called Mesa County Concert Association, its group of local volunteers provide a wide variety of concerts throughout the year. In the past performances included the Vienna Boys Choir, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Doc Severinsen’s Big Band, and the New York Theater Ballet.
“The Grand Junction Symphony and other venues provide the classical-style music,” Alpha said. “We fill in the other stuff. We have country western, big-band music, dancers, and theatre.”
With big talent comes big costs however — a season of concerts costs about $60,000 for the association. It’s covered by selling season tickets for the 1,500 seats in the GJHS auditorium.
MCCA also hires a stage manager and crew, along with any accessories and special effects needed for the aging auditorium.
“We are always looking for sponsors in order to increase the amount of shows,” Alpha said.
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