About

What is RCA?
Presenting professional artists since 1983, Rappahannock Concert Association, Inc. is dedicated to presenting live musical performances at extraordinary prices to a subscriber-based audience. Our Mission Statement: The mission of the RCA is to provide quality live performances to a subscriber audience and the broader community in the Northern Neck area, and to support and fund music education for the region’s youth. RCA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Who are we?
RCA is governed by an all-volunteer board whose members handle the artists selection, publicity, subscription sales, business development, finances and venue arrangements for each performance. We welcome new volunteers in this rewarding community endeavor. RCA makes available its Steinway grand piano to the Northumberland county public school music departments and sponsors student outreach programs to area schools.

Where are the concerts?

All the concerts will be held at the performing arts theatre at the Northumberland County School complex located about 3 miles east of Heathsville on Route 360 and Academic Lane. Address: 201 Academic Lane, Heathsville, VA 22473.

RCA 2017–2018 Board & Staff

Officers

President: Sue Nunn 804-472-4489 info@rappahannockconcerts.org
1st VP – Operations: Martha Tallent
2nd VP – Publicity: Nellie Landrum
Concert Chair: Charles Sydnor
Secretary: Dolores Meo
Treasurer: Ruth Huber

Directors

Carol Cole
Nancy Gates
Dr. Thomas Gibson
Lien Groenwold
Barbara Hays
Ruth Huber
Bob Kane
Nellie Landrum
Latasha Lee
Dolores Meo
Sue Nunn
RADM John Sigler
Nancy Stogowski
Rev. Charles Sydnor
Martha Tallent

Staff

Administrator: Lyn Conley: info@rappahannockconcerts.org
Designer: Julie Stanley, At Home Printing
Sound Tech & Piano Manager: Walt Mallorie, Band Director NHS
Webmaster: Alex Eguiguren

HISTORY OF RAPPAHANNOCK CONCERT ASSOCIATION

In 2009, the 27th season of the Rappahannock Concert Association, (RCA), the organization took a leap of faith. The Board of Directors decided to move RCA from Richmond County, where it was formed by a handful of dedicated volunteers in 1983, to the newly completed state-of-the-art Northumberland High School Theater for the Performing Arts. The founders’ original goal of ensuring that good music of all types would be available to the community remained intact.

After deciding to move, the Rappahannock Concert Association took yet another leap of faith to raise funds to purchase a piano. Thanks to fundraisers, generous donors and two grants, that effort succeeded. On Saturday, September 12, 2009, Professor Michael Chertok of the University of Cincinnati’s Conservatory of Music sat at the $45,000 newly rebuilt Steinway B grand piano and played the inaugural performance in the new venue. Year after year, RCA’s board– and many dedicated volunteers—continue to bring an eclectic concert season that features highly professional performers to the Northern Neck Community at an affordable price. The subscription price for the six concerts each season is $100, and the price for a choice of four concerts is $75. Single tickets are $25 and STUDENTS ARE ALWAYS FREE. We depend on our subscribers and generous donors to ensure we will have the funds to continue this important work. It also enables us to give generously to school music programs in all five Northern Neck counties. With severe cuts in the school budget, this means our donations are really appreciated. Since 2011, RCA has gifted over $12,000 to area music teachers.

A look back to the roots of community concert associations begins in the 1920s, a time of turmoil when funding for the arts was not a reality. In 1927 an idea revolutionizing the performing arts in America sprang up simultaneously in the Great Lakes region and in several eastern states. Begun as a humble experiment, it grew to “the organized audience plan” and ultimately into “COMMUNITY CONCERT” – the largest, and most enduring network of performing arts presenters that has ever existed. It was a simple idea. Instead of struggling to make up deficits after the fact, money was raised first. Then the artists were hired. The result: People were willing to buy a season’s subscription, not knowing in advance what the concerts were going to be. Financial risk was eliminated and subscribers enjoy a season of professional standard concerts at a reasonable price. That plan still works today.

In the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash and the years of the Great Depression that followed, music played an important role in raising the morale of those left without hope of ever recovering from financial ruin. Homes were lost, farms and equipment fell to creditors and jobs disappeared, but people could forget their worries for a little while when they could listen to music. Then, during the World War II years that followed, our troops overseas and our factory workers at home were inspired by the Big Band era of Glenn Miller, the Dorsey Brothers and other big bands. Funds were raised to buy “War Bonds” (government bonds to pay for the war effort) at venues ranging from small town theaters to Madison Square Garden in New York. Music gave the troops a respite from battle and a connection with home. Music also inspired folks at home, who rallied to the cause.

Grants & Partnerships

In June of 2009, the board of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation approved a grant from the EK Sloane Piano Fund for over $23,000 toward the purchase of our Steinway B Grand piano. The remaining $20,000 needed to purchase the piano came from RCA funds, donations and fundraisers. Our partnership with Northumberland County Public Schools enables us to offer the piano for community use in addition to our own concerts. The US Navy Community Outreach Program provides ensembles from the Fleet Forces Band in Norfolk to give public concerts, and student concerts and workshops. The Virginia Commission for the Arts supports selected performers and artists for student concerts. Questions? Leave a voicemail on our toll free box office number: 1-866-217-8149. Or email us at info@rappahannockconcert.org

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