Concert Association Celebrates75 Years of Outstanding Performances in Bryan
Williams County Community Concert Association has played a vital role in our area’s cultural life for many years. The 2023-2024 concert season will mark its 70th anniversary of sponsoring professional performances on the local stage. Throughout the years, many dedicated persons have served as officers, board members, and volunteers to make the concert series possible. Williams County Community Concert Association is also pleased to have received grant support from the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) for its 2019-2020, 2021-2022, and 2022-2023 seasons.
Participation in the concert series is by annual membership. “The concerts are a wonderful opportunity to experience outstanding live music at the local level for an amazingly low price,” states Myrna Grove, current Live On Stage President. “There are various categories of membership which include tickets to all five concerts in the series.” For further information, call 419-636-3550 or access www.wccca-los.org.
Since 1953, a main goal of Williams County Community Concert Association has been to foster and encourage appreciation of music, both for the public and in the schools. At the first organizational meeting in March, 1953, thirty-five persons met with a national representative. Today, an active board of twenty-four members continues to organize and promote the annual professional concert series.
During the past sixty-five years, Community Concerts in Bryan has sponsored a variety of performances including symphony orchestras, children’s choruses, brass groups, string quartets, pianists, dance performances, comedians, vocal ensembles and soloists, guitarists, organists, acrobats, tribute groups and musical theater, to name a few.
Among notable performers have been the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., Artie Shaw Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler, Ferrante and Tiecher, Mitch Miller, The King Family, New Christy Minstrels, Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band, Dallas Brass, Rockapella, William Warfield, Tony Sandler, Freddy Cole and Buddy Jewell.
Back in the 1950s, Community Concerts was responsible for purchasing the Baldwin grand piano for the auditorium. In recent years, they refurbished the piano for its continued use by both school and public groups. Community Concerts was involved in early renovation plans for the local auditorium. This included heating, lighting, seating, and lobby and stage arrangements.
In 1990, a patron plan was implemented in order to raise additional money to expand and enhance the concert series. Industries, businesses and individuals became involved. Area clubs also help sponsor educational outreaches for student groups.
For the first fifty years of its existence, Williams County Concert Association was affiliated with Community Concerts, Inc. in New York City. In 2002, the local board began its connection with Live On Stage in Nashville, TN. The Nashville agency represents over 200 similar associations across the country. Each year, Live On Stage chooses their concert artists through a highly selective audition process. Local board members annually travel to Nashville to preview potential performances first-hand in order to book top-notch entertainment.