IWV Concert Association ‘trying to rebuild’

Ted Vigil’s John Denver tribute to wrap up 2018 season

IWV Concert Association ‘trying to rebuild’By BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

After more than 70 years of bringing professional musical performances to the Indian Wells Valley, the IWV Concert Association is struggling to stay afloat amidst increased cost and declining membership.

“It will not be like it’s been,” said IWVCA Boardmember Tristan Kratz. “There’s going to probably be a period of time where we don’t offer as many shows ... we’re doing everything we can not to go dark.”

Since 1947 the IWVCA has brought wold-renowned classical pianists and violinists, dance troupes, tribute groups and everything in between. Season ticket holders are used to getting to see about six performances every year. But according to Kratz, the organization may need to scale down to as few as two shows a year in an effort to rebuild.

“The IWVCA does not want to go away, and I don’t think the community wants us to go away,” said Kratz. “But if people like it, they need to show up. A ticket cost of $25 is not unreasonable for professional performances.”

“In the last few years, we’ve lost nearly a third of our membership,” said IWVCA President Bob Covington. “Most of our membership is kind of an older demographic.

“To succeed, the association must find local and corporate sponsorship, along with increasing membership. I hope to start a committee of volunteers to reach out and secure funding.”

“There’s a lot of creativity going on right now in terms of fundraising ideas,” said Kratz. “We realize times are changing.”

The association provides more than just a few nights of entertainment for the community.

“Part of our charter, being a non-profit organization, is that we provide 50-minute free shows for students in the valley,” said Covington. “We pay the performers to do that, and we pay for the busing to get the kids to the Burroughs Performing Arts Center.”

“I’ve enjoyed all the great concerts IWVCA has made available to our students via their outreach concerts,” said local music educator Simon Austin. “I’m hoping donors come to the rescue so that these concerts may continue.”

“The kids love it and it also gives them a chance to talk to the performers and ask them questions about their job and their instruments and being a performer,” said Covington.

The 2017-18 season featured, James Garner’s “Tribute to Johnny Cash,” the “Spanish Brass” quintet, folk duo “Bettman & Halpin,” golden oldies throwback “Kit and the Kats” and most recently Las Vegas-based “Yesterday – The Beatles Tribute Show.”

“Without the IWVCA, some of these kids might never see a live performance,” said Covington. “I think it really adds to the community.”

This season’s final performance before breaking for the summer is the Ted Vigil “John Denver Musical Tribute” (tedvigil.com), April 18 at the Burroughs PAC.

Covington will step aside as president after this season. Any members of the community interesting in joining the IVWCA board or wanting to donate can find more information at iwvca.tripod.com.

Pictured: Ted Vigil performing as John Denver, is coming to Ridgecrest April 18. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2018-03-02