Affordable Concerts

 Affordable Concerts

Miami Valley Concert Association brings in acts with wide appeal

By Beth Langenfels

As early as the 1920s community concert associations began to spring up across the nation. These organizations were devoted to presenting professional performances designed for families at affordable prices during troubled times when little funding was available for the arts.

According to Bob Ransbottom, the current president of the Miami Valley Community Concert Association (MVCCA), a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1991, there are close to 400 such organizations across the nation. And the local organization is led by a group of 20 board members, including himself and his wife, Mary Fran, who handles publicity and marketing.

“We present four concerts a year at the Centerville Performing Arts Center, which is attached to Centerville High School,” Ransbottom says. “We research the acts and look for the most affordable with wide appeal.”

The MVCAA presents concerts in September and October and then again each spring in March and May and they work with the Performing Arts Center on scheduling availability. That same four-show-per-year schedule has been going strong for decades and the organization is supported solely through ticket sales and community support.

“We have a publicity committee and we try to get mentions in the local newspapers and on websites and we buy small ads but we are constrained by a small budget,” Ransbottom says. “We try to maximize that as much as we can. We also sell ads for our program.”

Other MVCAA committees include the hospitality, nominating, concert stage and technology committees, the latter handling the web page and the social media presence for the group.

“We use the high school’s technical, lighting and sound people for our performances,” Ransbottom says. “It’s a state-of-the-art facility so our performances are really top notch.”

The MVCAA started out hosting its performances at West Carrollton High School and remained there until the Centerville facility was completed in 2009. The MVCAA recently hosted a concert by The Texas Tenors, a group that first appeared six years ago on America’s Got Talent. The group delights audiences with its blend of country, classical, Broadway and current pop music.

“We are getting a lot of calls about this group,” Ransbottom says. “It’s one of the biggest acts we’ve had and we may have to open the balcony!”

On Oct. 17 the MVCAA will present Pavlo, an award-winning Mediterranean recording artist, performer and songwriter who is internationally renowned. Ransbottom, who has been volunteering with the MVCAA for five years, says over the years the group has brought some very memorable musical groups to town, including The Lettermen last year, Elisabeth Von Trapp, the Ohio State University Men’s Glee Club, the Four Freshman, John Davison and Four Seasons and John Denver tribute bands.

“We emphasize different types of music for families at affordable ticket prices,” he says. “Not many people know about us so we are trying do more so people will know who we are!”

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