El Dorado County Community Concert Association
● By Style
Photography by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Nineteenth century German author Berthold Auerbach mused, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
Since 1951, the El Dorado County Community Concert Association (EDCCCA)—the oldest cultural organization in the county, now celebrating its 63rd season—has been helping local citizens do just that. The all-volunteer nonprofit brings together every genre of music to entertain and excite season ticket holders.
Publicity Chairperson Jeannette Maynard explains the group originally presented only classical performances; however, they are progressing with the times. “Our musical choices have become more eclectic,” Maynard says. “We go for really good music—be it classical, blues, jazz, Celtic or a touch of country; top-quality and variety is our goal.”
The six concerts per season are held at El Dorado’s Union Mine High School Theater—a perfect fit for the intimate, live performances given to season ticket holders. On February 20, Grammy-nominated and Sono Luminus recording artists, the Modern Mandolin Quartet, will hit the stage. This unique chamber music group, hailing from the Bay Area, plays instruments from the mandolin family and performs new and classic masterpieces from nearly every corner of the globe. On March 19, members will be treated to the legendary Dan Crary and Thunderation, local Placerville musicians who offer what’s described as “the sound of American music.”
“We always offer a [wide] variety of quality, professional musical performances,” Maynard says. Playing for the members of EDCCCA is becoming very popular for artists from around the world. In order to perform, artists must apply and then a small committee of board members makes the final selections. However, it all depends on how many members renew or join before offers are made.
Clearly it’s the membership that drives this self-supporting nonprofit, and quoting a popular credit card advertisement, “Membership has its privileges.” For as little as $50 a year you can enjoy the year-round season of EDCCCA performances. Members may also participate in the reciprocity program, where they can attend more than 30 performances around northern California—from Turlock and Los Gatos to Red Bluff, and many communities in between. “Our memberships are a great value,” Maynard explains. “They are reasonably priced so nearly everyone can afford to join.” What’s more, EDCCCA offers special pricing for students of all ages. Maynard stresses that the association is looking for more families and young people to become members.
As part of EDCCCA’s community outreach program and to demonstrate their strong commitment to bettering the community, EDCCCA provides several free concerts or workshops (depending on the musical group) for local students—a program that’s been very well-received by area schools. “It is important for young people to be exposed to all types of musical entertainment,” Maynard shares. “Music helps broaden their horizons and opens their eyes to the world.”
For more information and to become a member, visit eldoradocommunityconcerts.com.