Indian Wells Valley Concert Association needs you!

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

Indian Wells Valley Concert Association needs you!The Indian Wells Valley Concert Association has been going strong in our valley for more than six decades, but a recent downturn in ticket sales has the all-volunteer board concerned.

“Last year we had 76 percent of our subscriptions sold by this time,” said IWVCA President Greg Morrow. “This year we have only 70 percent sold.” The group would like to keep program content strong by having the solid financial base a sold-out house would provide.

The calendars are out for this season’s IWV Concert Association, and it looks like another fine season, starting off with the Chris Burton Jacome Flamenco Ensemble, a high-energy performance with two musicians, a vocalist and two dancers in brilliant costumes. That’s set for this Friday, Sept. 27.

The second show will be Julian Gargiulo (classical pianist) on Oct. 15, followed by the Folk Collection on Nov. 18; Doo Wah Riders (Country-Cajun Fusion) on Jan. 7; the Alley Cats (a cappella Doo-Wop group) on Feb. 5 and the San Francisco Munich Trio (bassoon, cello, piano) on Feb. 20.

“We’re trying to provide something of interest to everyone,” said Morrow. “One person might not be enamored of everything in our season, but we would still encourage them to come. They might be surprised and enjoy something that initially they might not be enthused about.”

He emphasized that season tickets are one of Ridgecrest’s great entertainment bargains. “Most of the seats in the front section of the theater are held by season subscribers. What’s still available is in the back half of Burroughs’ Parker Performing Arts Center, but those are the less expensive seats. This is a good opportunity for an inexpensive night out.”

Regular price seats in the back half go for $78 for the season of six performances. That works out to $13 per performance. Fr those over 65, students or military, that same seat goes for $64 for the season, or $10.67 per performance. Even the highest-priced seats, of which a few random ones are left in the front section, go for $86, which works out to $14.33 per performance.

“When we attend conferences with booking agencies, they say these low prices we charge are absolutely unheard-of for a remarkable night out. In a larger city, say, at Lancaster’s Performing Arts Center, a comparable ticket for the lowest-cost seat would start at $45 per performance, and the more popular performances are higher than that,” said Morrow.

One of the reasons IWVCA can offer such low prices is because their 10-member board is 100-percent volunteer. “We believe in bringing quality entertainment to the valley,” said Morrow. For season tickets, call Linda Bates at 760-377-4088, or see information on the IWVCA calendar.

Individual concert prices are higher than the subscriber rate, but are good for those who only want to see one or two specific concerts. “Season tickets are much more cost effective,” said Morrow. Individual tickets are on sale at the Maturango Museum, Jeff’s Music Shop and Red Rock Books. A general-admission ticket is $22.

Another feature of IWVCA is the student show given by each performing artist or group to Sierra Sands students the morning of the concert.

“We reimburse the school district for the cost of busing elementary and middle school students to BHS to attend these student shows. They’re held at 10 a.m. the same day as the performance. This is to further the students’ exposure to professional performance,” said Morrow.

“Music education is being cut back by state budget cuts. We don’t raise money directly, but part of our program is to provide this for the youngsters.”

With approximately 600 seats in the Parker Performing Arts Center, that means that, after all six concerts, a total of about 3,500 students are able to enjoy special music, thanks to the IWVCA.

Story First Published: 2013-09-25