MOUNT VERNON — For more than three-quarters of a century, the Community Concert Association of Knox County has brought high-quality live entertainment to the area.
Originally called the Community Music Club, the association started in Mount Vernon in 1919 and for 25 years brought many artists to Knox County. There were no concerts during World War II, but concerts resumed in 1946. Idle for a time in the 1980s, the Community Concert Association of Knox County resumed its mission in 1990 and is thriving today with about 600 members.
CCA supporting board member Audrey Spearman said the association currently brings in six world class acts a year to the Memorial theater at a bargain price.
“You can’t even drive to Columbus and see a show for what we charge here for the whole year,” she said. “People can get a year’s membership during the membership drive in April and May, and individuals tickets are available at the door. There are special family rates, and students under age 21 are admitted free with a paid adult admission.”
Funding for the concerts come from ticket sales, Spearman said, plus the association solicits sponsors for each show. There are different membership levels, from simply purchasing a ticket to friend, sponsor, patron and benefactor levels.
Asked how the acts are chosen, Spearman said, “A number of us go — on our own dime — to Nashville every year to a conference put on by group called ‘Live on Stage.’ From the 40 some acts that we get to see, we discuss how each would go in Mount Vernon and ask each other, ‘Would this go over or would this be a bomb?’”
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