The Miami Valley Community Concert Association has had one goal since it was founded in 1991—to present live performances by professional artists to the local community at affordable prices.

It has met that goal every year through its four concerts per season, says Mary Fran Ransbottom, who helps the group with publicity. Those four concerts offer a variety of different musical styles and genres, she says.

“That was one of the goals of the original community concert associations was to have different types of music and varieties of music,” she says. The community concert association idea was born in the 1920s and flourished in the 1930s in spite of the Great Depression, says Ransbottom. 

The concept was to raise money first and then hire the artists, she says. People were willing to buy tickets for a modest sum for a season of three or four concerts, says Ransbottom. Today there are almost 400 community concert associations in the U.S., she says.

A variety of music for each concert is important because it exposes audience members to different kinds of music that they may never have listened to before, says Ransbottom. The Miami Valley Community Concert Association is continuing that musical variety with its two upcoming concerts at the Centerville Performing Arts Center, 500 E. Franklin St., Centerville.

The next concert features Tajci, a pop superstar in her country of Croatia at the age of 19 who achieved platinum status selling a million records, she says. Tajci will perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, along with her sister Sanya, the lead vocalist with Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and acclaimed pianist, Brian Hanson, says Ransbottom.

“They’re doing the (Great) American Songbook, which I thought was kind of interesting for a Croatian singer to be coming to the Miami Valley and perform from the (Great) American Songbook,” she says. “But it will be kind of with an international flavor so we’re looking forward to that.”

After that will be Mads Tolling and The Mads Men at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 18, says Ransbottom. Mads Tolling is an internationally renowned violinist, composer and two-time Grammy Award winner. The group will perform music of the 1960s, she says.

The concert association’s board members or audience members recommend all of the artists who perform, says Ransbottom. “We go out and see concerts at other places … and recommend that to the board for maybe the next season,” she says.

The all-volunteer organization also tries to include and promote a local artist, says Ransbottom. One of the most popular concerts the organization presented was The Ohio State Men’s and Women’s Glee Clubs, she says.

“We had many, many requests from Ohio State grads and Ohio State fans who have heard these glee clubs,” says Ransbottom. “They said, ‘Is there anyway you could get them to come do a concert for you?’ So we did and it was very successful,” she says.

For more information about upcoming concerts and ticket information visit mvcconcert.org.