“The idea of community concerts started in the 1930s in the era of the Great Depression. At that time, people could not afford to go into the larger cities for entertainment so the entertainers started going into the smaller communities. That idea has continued ever since.”
The CBCA began 50 years ago. A majority of the concerts have been classical in nature. According to Cook, Lee University has a wonderful classical series so the association made a shift in their musical selection. The association began working with an organization in Nashville called Live On Stage to find a lighter fare.
“The main focus of this organization is to keep live entertainment in front of people in our community,” Cook said. “In this day in time we look at TV screens, we look at phones, computers and iPod screens. The best way to see entertainment is live.”
The company auditions about 600 artists across the country each year. Thirty-Five to 40 of the 600 are chosen to appear in Nashville for an artist’s showcase. Each act has 15 minutes to wow and astound an audience of about 500. Cook said a representative from the CBCA attends each year to choose artists for the next year’s concerts.
“This year’s showcase was the first weekend of August. On Sept. 25 our board will be meeting with a representative from Live On Stage and we will be selecting the 2013-2014 concerts,” Cook said. “Even before we have our first concert this year, we already booked next year’s concerts.”
There will be four concerts beginning in October and ending next April. Ticket prices begin at $50 for an individual adult ticket. A $50 ticket will get one person into all four concerts. Additional tickets include $110 for a family ticket (two adults and two children) and $10 for an individual 18 or younger. Tickets may be purchased for two people at $110 to make an individual a ‘Contributor.’ Additional titles include: patron, sponsor, benefactor, grantor, and concert sponsor.
Cook encouraged members of the community to buy tickets to see the performances.
“An adult ticket is $50. You can barely go to four movies for $50,” Cook said. “...Several of these ticket prices have an asterisk beside them. If you purchase these tickets, then we have an insert we place in the bulletins that will have your name or your business’s name.”
Every show this next year will take place at Lee University’s Conn Center. Information on the shows can be found by calling (423) 473-1114. These shows include:
n Broadway Today performs songs from the past three seasons on Broadway. These include new shows, revivals, and long running hits. Selections are chosen from Wicked, South Pacific, The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia, and more.
n Jim Witter will perform and sing the music of Simon and Garfunkel. These songs include, “The Sound of Silence” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” Witter has performed with Faith Hill, The Beach Boys, Toby Keith, and Shania Twain.
n Meloney Collins and the Side Street Strutters are dedicated to bringing alive the jazz melodies of the 1940s. The band will perform songs like, “Almost Like Being in Love,” “April in Paris,” “Frankie and Johnny,” “Our Love is Here to Stay,” “Take the A Train,” and others.
n Legacy of Floyd Cramer is a tribute concert by Cramer’s grandson Jason Coleman. Coleman’s piano playing is described as, “an uncanny reflection of the signature style,” of Cramer. Cramer worked with many music legends including Elvis and Patsy Cline. Colemon played in Cleveland two years ago and will be returning in April.