BCCA hits milestone anniversary

Published 1:50 am Friday, July 15, 2011

The Beaufort County Concert Association is about to mark a milestone anniversary.

The BCCA will begin its 35th season on Sept. 26 with a performance by Broadway-opera-jazz star Christiane Noll, who has been a Tony Award nominee.

The self-funding BCCA recently announced its season in a news release, reflecting a reputation established from its origins in 1976.

“We are sincerely trying to maintain the quality of those shows,” said Gene Geesey, president of BCCA.

“We’re doing our best to use the income that we have as wisely as we can to produce and present the kind of shows that our members would like,” Geesey added.

With around 950 members in its past season, BCCA may be the largest arts group in Beaufort County. At 35, it’s also one of the oldest.

Other shows scheduled for the upcoming season will feature the Greenville Choral Society, The Water Coolers sketch comedy group, guitarist Edgar Cruz and a patriotic “American Spirit” presentation marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, terror attacks.

BCCA partners with Live On Stage of Nashville, Tenn., to produce the concerts.

“This year’s roster boasts internationally acclaimed artists in a variety of genres,” reads a news release from BCCA/Live On Stage.

Lucy Sheppard was president of BCCA from 1981 to 1983.

Known as Lucy Parker when she served as president, she offered some highlights of the entity’s past.

“There were people around town who were quite instrumental in forming it,” she said, naming the late Mac McLean and others, among them Diane Gerard and Dick Paul.

“It’s been quite a survivor,” Sheppard said.

Asked whether she had thought BCCA would endure this long, she replied, “Really, not. I mean, that’s been a long time. I think the reason it has lasted so long is it stays about the same price as when it started.”

The volunteers who keep the association going also deserve credit for its longevity, she said.