Gila Valley Arts Council announces its new season

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: The Gila Valley Arts Council has announced its artists for the 2019/2020 season who will perform at the David M. Player Center for the Arts in Safford.

Contributed Article

The Gila Valley Arts Council is pleased to announce the beginning of this year’s performing arts season. Founded in1985, its mission is to promote, support and sponsor performing arts in southeastern Arizona through the School Residency Program and public performance. The Council’s focus is to bring in professional artists ranging from classical musicians, world music, theater, ballet and modern dance from the USA and around the world.

Gila Valley Arts Council gives a big thanks to the following supporters: Arizona Community Foundation of the Gila Valley, United Way Graham County, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Arizona Commission on the Arts, and Freeport McMoRan Corporation.

As many people know, GVAC brings artists to our Valley that will also visit our schools and present special daytime shows just for children as well as to conduct educational workshops in as many music rooms as possible. GVAC is all about educating children. The evening performances are great and the money we receive really helps to defray the cost of keeping the artists around for an extra day or two to work with school kids. GVAC encourages every community member to consider becoming a member to help us make ends meet. Memberships range is $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 and $1,000.

Our annual membership drives raise as much funding as much as even our largest corporate or foundation supporters do, with the fringe benefit of early ticketing that can get you the best seats in the house. Call Tom Green, at 428-0081 for details on how to join.

Here is a preview of what’s coming this season.

On Nov. 21, 2019, we’re presenting Harpfusion, a longtime ensemble from the University of Arizona under the direction of Michelle Gott. Michelle is an award-winning and versatile harpist active in Canada and the United States. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Gott has played with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Boston Pops. Harpfusion is one of the most creative and exciting ensembles in the current concert scene. The highly innovative harp ensemble was named by the members of the group because of its unique fusion of many different styles and cultures represented in their repertoire. It is the largest touring concert harp ensemble in the world and has a repertoire that includes Classical, Jazz, New Age, and Folk.

Contributed Photo: Harpfusion

On Jan. 15, 2020, Akropolis Reed Quintet will perform. Hailed for their “imagination, infallible musicality, and huge vitality” (Fanfare Magazine), the Akropolis Reed Quintet takes listeners on extraordinary musical adventures. Winner of the 2014 Fischoff Gold Medal and the 2015 Fischoff Educator Award, Akropolis is committed to nurturing music appreciation among young audiences. Akropolis is an alumnus of APAP’s prestigious Young Performer’s Career Advancement Program (YPCA) and has received grants from Chamber Music America, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and operating support from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music and the Amphion Foundation. With three studio albums, including its 2017 release of The Space Between Us, Akropolis has recorded 17 original reed quintet works.

Contributed Photo: Akropolis Reed Quintet

On Feb. 12, 2020, the famous iconic group, The Four Freshmen will be here. In 1948, four young men created a sound that forever changed the way vocal jazz harmony was heard and performed. Known as The Four Freshmen, the group started with two brothers, Don and Ross Barbour, their cousin Bob Flanigan, and friend Hal Kratzsch. Early on in their career, the Freshmen met Stan Kenton. He loved the group and believed in them so much that he approached Capitol and essentially got the Freshmen signed in 1950. This led to a fruitful partnership between Capitol Records and the Freshmen for more than 10 years. During the Capitol years, the Freshmen had some of their biggest hits, including their first hit with Capitol called “It’s A Blue World.”  Since their founding in the late 1940s, there have been more than 25 different members of the Four Freshmen, but the same vocal harmony style that started on the campus of Butler University still continues today.

Contributed Photo: The Four Freshman

Our final artist, Carpe Diem String Quartet, will perform March 4, 2020. One of the most unique and sought-after chamber ensembles on the concert stage today, Carpe Diem String Quartet is a boundary-breaking ensemble that has earned widespread critical acclaim. Carpe Diem defies easy classification with programming that includes classical, gypsy, tango, folk, pop, rock, and jazz-inspired music. Carpe Diem is sought after by artists from many different genres for collaborations, including American singer/guitarist Willy Porter, Latin Grammy winner bandoneón player Raul Juarena, klezmer clarinetist David Krakauer, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. Using innovative programming, thematic concerts, and popular music for younger generations, Carpe Diem is bringing new audiences into the concert hall and revitalizing the chamber music experience.

Contributed Photo: Carpe Diem String Quartet

Individual ticket prices to the evening public performances range in price from $10-$15 for adults.

Children and Students can attend any of our shows for only $5. We recommend that if families want to sit together, that they pre-buy their tickets. The $5 children/student tickets though can only be purchased at Richard’s Music, Pollock’s Western Outfitters, or at the door. What’s really cool about this deal is that an adult could purchase the best seat in the house for $20 and purchase $20 seats next to them for their children at only $5 each.

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