Community Concert Association nears season opener

Nostalgia key to successful programming

The Miami Valley Community Concert Association, sprinkling the local arts scene with diverse programming for more than 20 years, ushers in its 2012-13 season Tuesday with legendary vocal quartet The Four Aces at the Centerville Performing Arts Center/Centerville High School.

Known since the 1950s for rendering such classics as “Love is a Many Splendored Thing,” Stanger in Paradise” and “Three Coins in the Fountain,” the Four Aces represents a nostalgic mindset that caters to MVCCA’s appeal. Although the organization, which presents four shows per season, strives to encourage all audiences by nurturing increased concert attendance in the area with great affordability, it remains mindful of its target audience.

“For the age group which mostly attends our shows, senior citizens which we call the ‘snowbirds,’ they love nostalgia,” said Phyllis Reed, MVCCA program/concert chairwoman. “Anything in the World War II era or the 1950s or 1960s brings back a lot of memories of the good old days. The Four Aces are fun, personable, New Jersey kind of guys who really look forward to coming to Dayton.”

Over the years, the all-volunteer troupe, securing most of its engagements through Las Vegas promoters, has presented a variety of acts including the Four Freshman, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, tenor Daniel Rodriguez, Frank Sinatra and Barbra Streisand tributes, brass ensembles and acrobats.

The remainder of this season will feature jazz/standards vocalist Dwight Lenox and the Lenox Avenue Express (Thursday, Oct. 18), eclectic guitarist Livingston Taylor (Sunday, March 23, 2013) and international touring pianists the Pridonoff Duo (Wednesday, May 8). Taylor, a faculty member at the Berklee College of Music, is the brother of Grammy winning singer-songwriter James Taylor.

“Our concerts, which are all about the community and promoting being together and enjoying good times together, are very personable,” said Reed. “It’s almost like watching artists in your living room. People feel good when they leave our shows and they didn’t have to spend and arm and a leg.”

As MVCCA looks to the future, it is considering expanding next season’s lineup to five shows and implementing stronger measures to make its lineup friendlier to broader, younger audiences as well as families.

“We’re doing our best to look ahead with all kinds of ideas,” said Reed. “We want to make sure everyone gets a taste of all kinds of entertainment that’s out there.”

Thriving among a wealth of arts options across the region, the MVCCA remains pleased with its progress as a successful alternative. Instead of fretting about competition, organizers recognize the troupe’s ability to connect with crowd-pleasing results within a community that deeply values and promotes the arts.

“Dayton is such a fabulous market for the arts,” said Reed. “Columbus and Cincinnati are struggling, but Dayton is always willing to look outside the box and work together. Just look at the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance with the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic. I think all of us have the same goal and are helping each other.”

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