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8/6/2012 9:03:00 AM
Verde Valley Concert Association announces shows for 2012-13
The Tetra String Quartet
The Tetra String Quartet
Sons of the Pioneer
Sons of the Pioneer
By Merlyn Brown

"Good things come to those who wait" and "better late than never" - so go the old sayings. And the Verde Valley Concert Association proves that they are indeed true, as it at last announces its upcoming season for 2012 and 2013.

The season kicks off on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. with "Rhapsodic Rapture" This concert will feature local piano virtuoso Brian Lockard and vocalists Quentin Oliver Lee, Andrew Surrena, Staci Dickens, Emily Wells, Samantha Gorham and Scott Ballantine. These singers are all seniors or graduate students at Northern Arizona University who have performed all around the country, including Carnegie Hall and in Europe. They have won numerous state-wide vocal competitions and some have been finalists in regional and national competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Brian Lockard was born in Phoenix and began taking piano lessons at the age of five. Soon after beginning lessons, his family moved to Cottonwood, where he studied with Dan Edwards and Beverly Hall. Besides performing, Brian is also a composer, and had just completed his first opera.

While in Cottonwood, Brian was the winner of numerous music competitions around northern Arizona including the following: Verde Valley Concert Association, Quick Memorial, Prescott Fine Arts, Prescott Symphony Guild, Sedona-Flagstaff Symphony Guild, and Catherine Adele

Among other pieces, Brian will delight the audience with his arrangement of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue."

Sunday, Nov. 11, at 3 p.m. sees the return of the ever-popular Western ensemble "Sons of the Pioneers". This group - which needs no introduction - has been appealing to audiences of all ages for decades. They are members of one of America's earliest Western singing groups whose classic recordings set a new standard for performers of Western music.

Some of the accolades which have been lavished on the "Sons of the Pioneers" are "Legends of Western Music"; "the first - the best - the original'; "a living legend in their own time - an American institution." The American Cowboy Magazine terms them "the world's premiere cowboy singing group." "All in all, they're just as influential to Americana culture - and Americana - as Levi's, Baseball, and Betsy Ross." They are in fact the quintessential exponents of Western cowboy music. This concert will no doubt be a sell-out.

On Saturday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. the Concert Association presents "Via Romen" - an ensemble who perform Russian gypsy music, dance and song. This is North America's premier Nuevo Russian-Romany (Gypsy) group, whose leader, Vadim Kolpakov, is one of the most prominent and renowned Russian Roma (Gypsy) guitarists in the world. He has performed extensively all over the world, including Carnegie Hall, and in the Kremlin for Russian President Putin.

A real treat awaits the audience on Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. The Brigham Young University Theater Ballet takes to the stage to enchant and delight with their presentation - the theme is "princesses." There will be a special "Meet and Greet" tea for children prior to the concert. Several princesses will be represented in the ballets, including "Cinderella" and "Snow White".

Saturday April 6, at 7 p.m. the season closes with, The Tetra String Quartet. Hailed for their "engaging and energetic performances" and the "ability to master music of any style or genre," the Tetra String Quartet continues to captivate audiences throughout the country and abroad. As advocates of chamber music, Tetra strives to make performance experiences relevant for any listener by sharing music of all kinds in both new and traditional venues. with enthusiastic young listeners! Their dedication and energy is truly inspired. We should all be so lucky to have these educators be a part of our community!"

The annual "Rising Stars" spring concert, which showcases the winners of the Concert Association's annual scholarship competition, is a free concert. Call the Concert Associationin early March 2013 to ascertain exactly when this concert will take place.

A "Celebrate the Season" fund raiser will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 6:30 p.m. at Country Bank, corner of 89A and Sixth Street, Cottonwood, in aid of funds for the Concert Association's scholarship competition, and to pay for residencies which visiting artists perform in our schools and retirement facilities. There will be wine, cheese, and desserts, and entertainment will be provided by Thunder Mountain Woodwind Ensemble, and the Verde Voices. Raffles and a silent auction are also part of this event. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance by calling the Concert Association at (928) 639-0636 or at the door.

"Early Bird" season tickets for five concerts are $50 for adults, $15 for students 12-18, until Oct. 20. After that date, adult season tickets will be $60. All concerts will take place at Mingus Union High School auditorium, Fir Street, Cottonwood. Please take note of the exact dates.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please call (928) 639-0636.

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