Three Great Shows

Williamsport Community Concert Association set for new season

"In the Mood" will be a Popejoy Hall. agomez@abqjournal.com Wed Feb 10 12:08:33 -0700 2016 1455131311 FILENAME: 207196.jpg

For 91 years, the Williamsport Community Concert Association has worked tirelessly to bring quality live entertainment from around the world to area stages.

That will continue in the organization’s upcoming season, which kicks off this fall, as WCCA is set to bring three fantastic shows — from genres including classic rock, Latin guitar world fusion, and big band jazz — to the Community Arts Center, 220 West Fourth St.

Presenting the eclectic line-up, which has a little bit of something for everyone, is especially exciting for those from within the association.

“You know that super anticipation you have when the rollercoaster you’re on climbs that first incline and you can’t wait to reach the zenith and start flying down? Well, (my excitement for this season) is even more thrilling than that,” said WCCA president Cynthia Staiman Vosk. “We pride ourselves on the diverse type of high-quality musical artists we present.

“Appealing to a wide range of age groups and musical sensibilities is not simple,” she added. “But our tagline is ‘Bringing a world of music home,’ and we stand buy it.”

In that spirit, the three acts coming to WCCA for the 2018-19 season will be the Eagles cover band 7 Bridges, Latin guitar world fusion group Incendio, and the 1940s musical revue “In the Mood.”

The season will kick-off on Oct. 3 when 7 Bridges comes to town. Billed as the best Eagles cover band on the planet, the group promises “the ultimate Eagles adventure.” With a high level of musical precision and fantastic stage presence, the group’s national acclaim is well-warranted, as it is faithfully able to reproduce the sound that has allowed the Eagles to enjoy tremendous success through the decades.

You can count on the group to break out all of the Eagles’ biggest hits, including songs like “Hotel California,” “Witchy Woman,” “Life in the Fast Lane” and “Already Gone.”

The group first got on the radar of the WCCA when Staiman Vosk came across them during an independent showcase at an arts marketplace last year.

“The second I heard them, I felt like I was at a live Eagles concert in the 70s,” Staiman Vosk said. “I was transfixed. I wanted to listen all night — 15 minutes was just not enough. I knew I had to bring this incredible Nashville group home to share. Thankfully, the board agreed.”

Noting the rising popularity amongst tribute bands, Staiman Vosk also mentioned that she was especially impressed by 7 Bridges because the band’s replica sound is accomplished without using backing tracks or harmonizers.

“It is the quality of this band that makes it stand out,” she said. “I have heard a number of tribute band showcases, and this group was by far the best.”

Staiman Vosk has seen a lot of early excitement in the community regarding the show, which she anticipates will continue to grow in coming weeks.

“We all know the exhilaration of a communal experience — where everyone comes together because of their shared interest to have a great time. This concert will be one of those nights, where everyone is blissful and sated when they leave the venue,” she said.

After the 7 Bridges show, the second performance of the WCCA season will be the California-based group Incendio, who will come to the CAC on Nov. 8. This Latin world fusion band brings a fiery guitar sound and worldly rhythms to its flamenco-inspired performance.

They are another group Staiman Vosk discovered while at a showcase.

“I went back to hear them a second time just because they were so good,” she said. “When I realized they would bring additional musicians and a dancer, it was a simple decision to ask the board for approval. This group epitomizes our tagline.”

The WCCA season will wrap-up on March 28 with the 1940s musical revue “In the Mood,” which will harken back to the nostalgic sound of big band era jazz. With stunning singers and dancers being backed by the 13-piece String of Pearls Orchestra, this show has enjoyed 25 years of success, and promises to be a lively season-ender.

“This show is a real gala and it was actually hard to book because of the demand,” said Staiman Vosk.

With only three shows this season, the WCCA has scaled back from its usual five-performance lineup, in reaction to waning sales of season ticket packages. The hope is that fewer shows will put the price point of season ticket packages at a place where more locals will be willing to purchase them.

“Over time, we have come to realize that selling a package of shows in this day and age is becoming more difficult, albeit our pricing is very affordable and you save money when you buy our whole season,” said Staiman Vosk. “More people seem to decide what to do for entertainment at the last minute.

“We have always sold single concert tickets, but we decided to create a season that would work well either way,” she added. “We are hoping that a commitment to three dates will sell better than our previous five offerings did. We are sure our that our single concert tickets will sell.”

Though the musical performances of the WCCA have leaned towards classical, the wide range of music the group is now incorporating in its seasons is also an effort to draw in bigger crowds.

“We started looking outside the box – to all kinds of different types of musical artists, eras, genres and geographies,” Staiman Vosk said. “Our philosophy is to make it great so that even if a specific concert is not your favorite type of music, if you know it is WCCA, you will know it is excellent.”