Gila Valley Arts Council rides again!

The Fitzgeralds will make their return to the Gila Valley for the Gila Valley Art Council’s 2022/23 season.

Contributed Article/Courtesy Tom Green – GVAC

GRAHAM COUNTY – It is with great pleasure to announce that the Gila Valley Arts Council will once again be presenting a performing arts season during the 2022-2023 school year.

Founded in1985, its mission is to promote, support, and sponsor performing arts in southeastern Arizona through the School Residency Program and public performance. Its focus is to bring in professional artists ranging from classical musicians, world music, folk music, and jazz.

Duo Deloro, a pair of classical guitarists, will perform a mix of Flamenco and Slavic-influenced pieces.

GVAC brings artists to our valley that will visit our schools and present special daytime shows just for kids as well as conduct educational workshops in as many music rooms as possible. GVAC is all about educating children. The evening performances for the general public 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.

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, Eastern Arizona College, and Freeport McMoRan Corporation.

GVAC also depends on the support from community members, many of whom subscribe to season tickets through our supporting membership program. Anyone interested in becoming a supporting member of the Gila Valley Arts Council can contact us at 928-428-0081. You can also follow them on Facebook or visit their website,

The Fitzgeralds are scheduled to make their triumphant return as well.

All of the public performances are held at the David M. Player Center for the Arts at Safford High School.

Last season was certainly welcome after the previous season was postponed.

We saw people attending the evening concerts in larger numbers and with quite a few new faces in the audience. The schools also gave us renewed support for every event. The children coming to the morning bus-ins walked in with beaming faces and excitement. We could tell that the children were so happy to be able to get back into doing normal things, being with their friends, and attending events inside the wonderful David M. Player Center for the Arts. There was excitement in the air.

Nobuntu, a five-voice vocal ensemble from Zimbabwe, will kick off GVAC’s season.

We were also honored to lend our support to the Safford City-Graham County Library in its wonderful presentation of Mr. G, a bilingual program that was targeted toward kindergarten through 2nd-grade students. Kudos to Elizabeth Henley, their Early Literacy Coordinator, for making this really cool event happen for an age group that hasn’t been targeted often.

Our upcoming season we expect to be just as enjoyable. Our first artist, Nobuntu, is a five-voice vocal ensemble from Zimbabwe. They’ve been in our sights for a while and we were fortunate to succeed in getting them booked. Their Afro-Jazz style of harmony will be a welcome, unique, vibrant, and joyous event for both adults and children. They will perform Wednesday, Nov. 16, starting at 7 p.m.

Following in January, we have Duo Deloro, a pair of classical guitarists that will perform a mix of Flamenco and Slavic-influenced pieces. They will perform Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, starting at 7 p.m.

In February, we are so happy to finally bring back The Fitzgeralds from Canada. Their show, complete with world champion step dancing and fiddle playing will definitely be worth attending. They will perform Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, starting at 7 p.m.

The Black Oak Ensemble will close out GVAC’s season.

That brings us to our last group, Black Oak Ensemble. A string trio is somewhat unique compared to the classical string quartet. What I find so enjoyable, is that in the trio form, the viola gets to sing with equal voice and balance. This trio just recently achieved national recognition with their latest CD, “Avant L’orage” as the #1 best album on the Classical Traditional Billboard, 2022. I can’t wait to hear them live on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, starting at 7 p.m.

For anyone interested in becoming a supporting member of the Gila Valley Arts Council now is a great time as all membership levels offer discounted tickets when subscribing to the performing arts series that include all four shows. All seats are reserved so that your favorite seats will be there for you at every performance without having to wait in line. Call Tom Green for information or visit us online at to see more details about our season and who we are.

Individual ticket prices for the evening public performances range in price from $10-$20 for adults.

Children and Students can attend any of our shows for only $5. We recommend that if families want to sit together, they pre-buy their tickets. The $5 children/student tickets can only be purchased at Richards Music 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 adjacent $20 seats next to them for their children at only $5 each.