Concert Association provides gift of entertainment, outreach

Published 7:10 pm Monday, January 23, 2017

For 40 years, the Beaufort County Concert Association has put nationally renowned acts on a local stage.

Tuesday night, world-class musicians, Kubecca — the duo of vibraphonist Kuba Kawnik and Broadway singer/actress Rebecca Lowe — will take the stage at the Washington High School Performing Arts Center, for one of five shows BCCA offers throughout its season.

The organization prides itself as being a venue where “national meets local,” but they’re not just offering an evening’s entertainment, according to BCCA President Alma Friedman. The concert association also gives the gift of a cultural experience to Beaufort County Schools students, she said.

With the help of BCS staffer Michelle Oros, once a year, BCCA pulls in students from around the county to see a show of a caliber usually reserved for big venues in much bigger cities.

“Our members actually donate to that program,” Friedman said. “Kids really enjoy it, and we really enjoy it too.”

Wednesday morning, approximately 850 children will be bused or carpooled from their schools to Washington High School, including three busloads of students from S.W. Snowden Elementary School in Aurora.

“(Oros) has got the whole Aurora school coming; that’s 170 students. They’ve never been,” Friedman said.

Until recently, BCCA has aimed its cultural outreach at BCS students, but this year, the organization is reaching out further by inviting private schools and home schools in the area to attend the performance.

Friedman said when BCCA board members travel to a Nashville showcase to sign up acts for the following year, they try to find a mix of acts representing different genres, from opera singers to Broadway, a ventriloquist to classical musicians.

“A lot of times, we get artists who do a little bit of everything,” Friedman said.

BCCA also has a reciprocal program in place with the Craven County Concert Association, so BCCA members actually get nine performances for the price of five, if members are willing to travel to New Bern to see a show.

“We been trying to do that the last few years, and it’s worked out really well,” Friedman said, adding that BCCA and CCCA officials will attend the showcase together so they can consult on which acts each will sign on for the following season.

“We try to book different shows,” she said.

However, she said, there are just some acts too good to resist: for next year’s season, BCCA and CCCA have both booked an act called the Redneck Tenors, opera singers disguised as good ol’ boys.

Friedman said audience participation and humor are a big draw for BCCA membership and, with membership priced at $60 for the season, $70 for reserved seating, they offer great entertainment at bargain prices.

Single tickets are also sold at the door: tickets to Kubecca’s performance tonight at Washington High School are $25 each, Friedman said.

For more information about BCCA membership, visit