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Music to their ears

Hal Linden works with El Dorado Muscial Theatre's High Voltage members. Courtesy photo
Hal Linden works with El Dorado Muscial Theatre's High Voltage members. Courtesy photo

It all started with a desire to give back.

In 1994, a group of Folsom residents interested in the performing arts banded together. Their mission? To bring high-quality concerts at an affordable price to the greater Folsom area. Out of this fledgling concert association has grown the Folsom Lake Community Concert Association. Today, in partnership with Live on Stage of Nashville, Tenn., the FLCCA is proud to offer local residents an annual five-concert series at the Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College.

And that’s just the beginning.

“As a non-profit organization, the whole goal of the FLCCA is to give back to our community,” said Craig Burnett, president of the FLCCA. “In addition to our concert series, we also focus on outreach. Last year, our concert series — which included big artists like the Glen Miller Orchestra— sold out quickly, and thanks to that success we were able to expand our outreach program in multiple areas.”

Free concerts
For the past several years, the FLCCA outreach program has worked to arrange free concerts for students at local schools and for seniors living in assisted living centers. Dianne Burnett, outreach coordinator for the FLCCA, arranged for big-name artists who perform in they regular concert series at the Harris Center to put on these side performances but the cost outweighed the benefit. As such, the FLCCA recently turned to local artists for help. Local talent has responded — with smashing success.

“This last year we were pleased to be able to put on numerous concerts at schools and seniors centers featuring artists such as harpist Judy Phillips, pianist David Graulich, the Riverbend Folk Band, the Windy Strings and more,” said Craig Burnett. “Everyone really seemed to love all of it, and not least of all the artists themselves.”

One of the most exciting recent outreach concerts was actually a part of the FLCCA’s regular concert series. Fifty-five band students from Cordova High School performed a patriotic number with the Dallas Brass, one of the nation’s best brass ensembles, at the opening of the second half of their performance this past September. The students practiced with the ensemble at their school prior to the performance and got front-row seats. The FLCCA hosted an ice cream social and meal for the students and the performers, and their performance made the local news.

“The Dallas Brass Concert was a big commitment for the FLCCA, but was a great experience for everyone involved. We hope to be able to put on more events like this in the future,” said Burnett.

Music scholarships
For many years the FLCCA has wanted to give out student scholarships. Thanks to the success of the 2012-13 concert series, they are  finally able to do so.  In June 2013, the FLCCA gave out five $1,000 scholarships to local students and then took all five to Live on Stage in Nashville to compete in front of the National Convention on Aug. 3. Even more exciting, two of their scholarships winners, Lauryn Caruso and Emily Richan from Oak Ridge High School, were each selected nationally to win $1,000 scholarships from Live on Stage.

“We were one concert association in the U.S. out of 200, and two of our people got selected,” said Burnett. “We couldn’t have been more excited.”

Instruments for schools
Elementary and high school is the time of a student’s life to learn to play an instrument. For some students and schools, however, locating instruments can be hard. This year, the FLCCA kicked off a new student outreach initiative. They collected musical instruments to donate to local schools. The idea is to try to provide underserved students whose families can’t afford to buy or rent musical instruments with the opportunity to learn to play.

“Our first big project was for Cordova Meadows Elementary School,” said Burnett. “We asked around to find out if anyone had any instruments they weren’t using and then gave them to the school. More recently we were able to make a large donation to Mills Middle School in Rancho Cordova, which is currently trying to rebuild its music program. They were so excited.”

How to help
As a nonprofit organization, the FLCCA depends on volunteers and donations to survive. The FLCCA is always looking for local artists to perform at schools and senior centers, as well as for musical instrument donations and people interested in serving on the board. Those interested should contact Craig Burnett at flcca-craig@comcast.net or visit flcca.org.

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Posted by on Nov 26 2013.
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