by Cassie Nixon
Since 1954, The Central Basin Community Concert Association has been providing the Moses Lake area communities with quality entertainment from musicians and performers from around the world. Their mission is: Music Education and Quality Concerts from Around the World. From their website: “Each artist is carefully selected to provide the highest quality entertainment available to the Moses Lake and surrounding communities. Artists chosen have appeared at Carnegie Hall, on Broadway, at major sporting events and have won prestigious awards worldwide. We seek to provide a great entertainment value while supporting the arts in our community.”
Central Basin Community Concert Association has partnered with Live On Stage, Inc, from Nashville TN, to bring artists and musicians to our schools and communities. Volunteers from the Central Basin Community Concert Association fly to Nashville each year where Live On Stage holds auditions for up to One Thousand artists from around the globe. From that point, board members vote on 35 groups to tour the United States, providing 400 community concerts from which Central Basin Community Concert Association chooses 4 to bring to the Moses Lake area.
Many of the chosen artists provide student outreach programs and are selected because they work well with children and other age groups and have a desire to reach out to more kids in the United States. Central Basin Community Concert Association hopes that the public realizes the value of the offered entertainment. Mary, from the Association’s board of directors, states: “All of our performances are good, clean quality entertainment that is affordable and family friendly… Children’s lives have been changed by having concerts at their school.” It is the group’s goal to attempt an outreach in each school. Outreach is a music student workshop (band or choir) that works with music students. Alternatively, they can provide a mini concert for the schools to help instill a love of music and singing into the schoolchildren. Musicians incorporate music education in all outreach workshops and performances.
These opportunities are truly a community effort. The group relies on word of mouth to provide awareness of their presence in the area. Local businesses donate funding to provide outreach programs and concerts at schools, and the Association’s board is comprised entirely of volunteers, many of whom are musicians themselves. Performing or teaching musicians typically allow children to come play their instruments, providing hands on learning and the opportunity to try something new. One year, Rob Verdi with SAXational had an entire band class up on the stage performing with him. Typically, high school students work backstage and donate their time to help set up and clean up, and concessions are typically donated by a group or class from the school or community.
Central Basin Community Concert Association offers the public a Season Pass, which includes their four chosen concerts for only $55. Single passes are also sold at the door the day of the concerts. The Concert Association strives to maintain affordability so that everyone that wants to attend, may. They offer special discounts for groups as well as music students and teachers, and has proudly hosted groups such as: Chanticleer, New York Ballet Ensemble, George Shearing Duo, Max Morath Quintet, Dixie Chicks, New Christy Minstrels, Tennessee River Boys, Legacy of Floyd Cramer, Jesse Lynch Jazz, Hector Olivera, Rob Verdi in SAXational, Paul McDermand, and Derik Nelson & Family.
This concert season, the Concert Association’s chosen artists are:
Tajci – Waking Up in America. Tajci is an award-winning international artist; by 19, she was a pop superstar in her country of Croatia and achieved platinum status selling a million records. Her sister, Sanya happens to be lead vocalist with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and the pair has partnered up with acclaimed pianist Brian Hanson. They present a musical cabaret style show of the American Songbook with international flair.
Burlap to Cashmere – Folk music revival. The group draws from influential artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, and Bob Dylan. They rose to critical acclaim with their unique sound and live shows and went on to sell a half million records.
The Maxwell Quartet – One of Britain’s finest string quartets and 1st prize winner of Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition, Norway 2017. The Glasgow based quartet broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio Scotland, performs at many festivals and venues across Europe, including notable performances and London’s Wingmore Hall. Their program highlights selections by Beethoven, Hayden, as well as original arrangements of Scottish Folk Music.
Sons of Serendip – Creates beautiful music using harp, piano, cello, and voice. They appeared as finalists on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent and have performed with Cincinnati Symphony and the Boston Pop. Their program is a fresh mix of emotionally expressive popular music, engaging stories, and audience participation.
The venue for the concerts is the Wallenstein Theatre at Big Bend Community College.
More information on this season’s artists, including samples of their work can be obtained at the Central Basin Community Concert Association’s website at: communityconcertsml.com or on their Facebook Page, Central Basin Community Concert Association.