The Tonto Community Concert Association is on the eve of its silver anniversary and is making big changes.
The TCCA will open its 25th season next fall without its long-standing affiliation with the National Concert Association.
TCCA President Bob Ware said the group ended its relationship with the national association when it learned it was not paying the artists on the concert circuit. He said they learned about the problem third hand. Two of the acts the TCCA had in Payson for the 2002-2003 season had not been paid --imon and Son and the Jack Daniels Silver Cornet Band. There are lawsuits pending, he said.
"The (TCCA) board decided to take control," Ware said.
The TCCA is paying its artists directly now and the board is working with another booking agency to bring performers to Payson.
"We have turned it into a positive growth situation. We, with assistance, can bring in groups, a mixture (of musical styles), and spend money in the state," he said.
Ware said there are hundreds of organizations like the TCCA across the country, and they're in the same situation. He does not know how many will go the same route as TCCA.
"It has been a very positive educational experience. It encouraged us to take more responsibility and ask more questions," Ware said.
As for the TCCA, Ware is fairly certain it will continue to bring the best deals in entertainment to Payson.
"There is not a better bargain in town," he said.
A series ticket is only $50 for six concerts, single tickets are $20 each. The TCCA also has a youth program to encourage family attendance. For every adult series ticket purchased, the ticket holder can bring anyone in the 12th grade and under to the concerts free of charge. And there is not a limit on the number of young guests the series ticket holder may bring to a performance.
Ware said this program was made possible by the generosity of the patrons. The TCCA has 860 subscribers.
In addition to the concerts presented at the PHS auditorium, some of the artists go into the schools and present master classes to students.
The TCCA also makes contributions to the high school to improve the auditorium facility.
To learn about membership in TCCA, contact 474-4515.
2003-04 TCCA Schedule
- Sept. 8: The Woods Tea Company
- October (no date set): Orange Kellan
- Nov. 30: Phoenix Boys Choir
- Jan. 31: "I Get a Kick Out of Cole";
- March 12: Paul McDermond
- April 2: Pompa-Baldi