The Wadena Area Concert Association is preparing for performance season. Organizers and volunteers are booking acts and currently have several musicians Wadena bound. The longstanding association has been bringing music to Wadena since 1950.
This year, Concerts start with The Music of John Denver, skillfully performed by Jim Curry. Curry performs a tribute style collection of John Denver’s music. His natural voice and appearance very closely emulate that of the iconic folk singer. During his shows, Curry combines his music with synchronized photos and video making for a dynamic emotionally evoking show. Curry has become one of the premiere John Denver performers whose rendition of music goes beyond simple impersonation.
The Wadena Area Concert Association is in the process of renewing season memberships. They’re also looking for new members and volunteers. An adult pass is $45, a student pass is $15, and a family pass is $90. A pass grants access to four musical acts in Wadena and several other concerts hosted in reciprocity areas. One annual fee applies to concerts in Wadena, Fergus Falls, Sauk Centre, and Park Rapids.
Association President Bonnie Kingsley spoke candidly about the group and its operations. She expressed the amount of difficulty in coordinating so many talented performers, volunteers, and dealing with technical issues. It's all worth it in the end, when the lights go down and the music ramps up. She's been the president for 13 years and exclaimed that the performers are the best part of her job.
The concerts take place at the Memorial Auditorium, a classical art deco theater. Kingsley explained that the location is wonderful but comes with a wealth of technical issues often stemming from the outdated sound system. She hopes in the near future that donations and fundraising will allow the group to purchase a new sound system.
The association works with Allied Concert Services in the Twin Cities. Prior to the concert season a representative from Allied Concert Services will put on a presentation featuring the many acts they have at their disposal. Kingsley and others will select the acts they feel are best for Wadena. Many of their choices are determined by price. According to Kingsley, they have a budget around $20,000 but a single act can often cost around $10,000 to $15,000. “We try to pick based on our budget,” said Kingsley. They must be selective in their choices and constantly looking for new members in order to keep quality musicians coming through Wadena.
The Music of John Denver is scheduled for 7:30 p.m, Friday, Oct. 18. The Wadena Area Concert Association is looking for more volunteers to be ushers, hospitality agents, and committee members. Kingsley said that her organization even allows people to earn their season pass through volunteering. For more information, check The Wadena Area Concert Association FaceBook page or call Bonnie Kingsley at 218-371-9487.
Later this season
In October, the April Verch band will make its way to Wadena. Fiddler, stepdancer, and singer, April Verch has been performing professionally for over 20 years. The energetic trio blends fiddling with old time american and Appalachian music. Her performance is slated for Nov. 12.
Entertainer and funny man, Kenny Ahern will grace the stage at the Wadena Memorial Auditorium on Mar. 17. Ahern has been performing for decades and has a unique brand of physical comedy that entertains all ages.
Ball in the House, a Boston based pop group will perform in Wadena on May 3. The group has opened for some huge acts and is responsible for some of the catchiest jingles ever conceived. There performance combines elements of dance, singing, and beat-boxing.