Tcca Concert Series: Affordable Cultural Experience

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Sunday, Aug. 21, the Tonto Community Concert Association kicks of its 27th season with a performance by the Spirit of Phoenix, a 95-member-strong barbershop chorus.

The TCCA concert series provides a wonderful opportunity for parents and grandparents to expose youngsters to a variety of very affordable musical performances, and to broaden their cultural perspectives.

Music is an essential ingredient to celebrate and preserve our cultural heritage. Additionally, music helps us explore new realms of expression, imagination, and creation that result in new knowledge.

Music plays a vital part in improving children's intellectual development. Research suggests that regular exposure to music improves mathematical and reasoning abilities.

"Music lessons, and even simply listening to music, can enhance spatial reasoning performance, a critical higher-brain function necessary to perform complex tasks, including mathematics," said Frances Rauscher and Gordon Shaw, professors at the University of California at Irvine.

The researchers discovered that adults who listen to music of complexity for at least 10 minutes experienced temporary increases in their spatial IQ scores.

Mike Buskirk, music instructor at Rim Country Middle School, researches the impact of music and fine arts throughout history. Buskirk discovered that students who listened to Mozart for 10 minutes before taking an IQ test scored nine points higher than those who didn't.

The evidence clearly indicates that music plays a larger role in our lives than just entertainment. As adults, we have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to expose them as much as possible to events that will not only broaden their cultural experiences, but will also enhance their intellectual development.

"Our goal is to bring culture and the arts into Payson," said Allen Fisher, publicity chair for TCCA. "We try to provide a variety of musical performances. This is the only venue that provides that variety."

Season tickets to the concert series are $60 for adults -- that's $7.50 a performance. To make it an even better deal, children under 18 are admitted free when accompanying a paying adult.

Consider that a movie ticket costs $7 and no one gets in free. A family of four will pay $28 to see a movie, or $15 to attend the TCCA concerts. A better entertainment value cannot be found. The educational aspect is an added bonus.

This season's lineup features:

Oct. 14: Susan Egan, the Belle of Broadway

Nov. 3: Edgar Cruz, guitarist

Nov. 22: Cristiana Pegoraro, pianist

Jan. 28: Country Tonight, country music show

Feb. 11: Nathan Granner and Lisa Williamson, opera and musical theater singers

March 6: The Coats, vocal band

April 3: Manhattan Rhythm Kings, singers of popular music from the 20s, 30s, and 40s.

The complete 2005-2006 concert season schedule, and details about each performance, is online at tccarim.org.

Season subscriptions can be purchased by calling Charles or Eloise Jones at (928) 478-4363 or Marilyn Wolfe at (928) 474-6115. Season tickets will be on sale at the first two concerts. We encourage everyone to become TCCA concert series subscribers.

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