The Blue Earth Valley Concert Association (BEVCA), a non-profit organization entering its 46th season, is thrilled to bring four unique concert experiences to Blue Earth in the coming months.
BEVCA, which was organized in 1976 by a group of local citizens, seeks to bring quality entertainment to Faribault County.
“We want to bring a wide range of concert experiences at an affordable cost,” Gail Ottesen, Co-Chair of BEVCA’s Board of Directors, summarizes.
BEVCA reserves its variety of professional artists through Allied Concert Services; an organization that seeks to bring world-class artists to community concert associations in small towns and villages across the central United States.
“We hope people understand how professional these groups are,”says Ottesen.
This season alone, BEVCA will feature performances by a Broadway singer, three Juilliard-trained musicians, a group of talented Twin Cities jazz musicians, and an award-winning artist from Nashville. And all the concerts will take place right here at Blue Earth.
Ottesen and Gary Olsen, another co-president of BEVCA, deliberately seek to fill each season with a balanced lineup of artists.
“We try to have a variety of styles”Olsen said.
Although BEVCA is based in Faribault County, its audience extends far beyond these borders.
“We serve 19 towns in our county,”Ottesen says, adding that BEVCA also has regular members from Amboy, Mapleton, Mankato and Fairmont.
From near and far, those who purchase tickets for the upcoming season will be treated to a variety of engaging and seasoned performers at the Performing Arts Center at Blue Earth Area High School.
Jeremy Stolle, recording artist and concert singer, will kick off the season on Wednesday, October 19.
When not performing as the Phantom on Broadway, Stolle enjoys singing with orchestras including the Indianapolis Symphony, Springfield Symphony and Music Theater Wichita. As a veteran of the musical theater scene, Stolle’s specialty is classic Broadway with a pop twist.
Shortly after Stolle serenaded Blue Earth with “music of the night,” genre-blending crossover trio Empire Wild will bring their exploratory sounds to the Performing Arts Center on Sunday, November 13.
Ken Kubota, Brandon Ilaw and Mitch Lyon – all classically trained musicians – met at Juilliard. They fuse the sounds of pop, folk, Broadway and more in their songwriting and performance via Ken and Mitch’s creative bowing, pinching and chopping technique on cello and Brandon’s varied vocal and instrumental skills. .
“I think they’re really going to bring a youthful presence,”Ottesen predicted.
The new year will bring The Travis Anderson Trio on Sunday, February 12. The Minneapolis-based ensemble puts a modern twist on classic jazz and pop favorites.
Fleet-fingered pianist Travis Anderson will lead the ensemble through fan favorites, such as ’60s TV show themes and Disney jazz and pop standards. Steve Pikal’s bass and Nathan Norman’s percussion will complete the ensemble’s soft sound.
The season will wrap up with How Sweet It Is on Sunday, May 7. The program, performed by Nashville-based Steve Leslie, introduces audiences to the beloved music of James Taylor through an authentic and spellbinding concert event.
In addition to the exciting lineup of artists scheduled at Blue Earth, season ticket holders will have the opportunity to attend additional concerts at St. James.
Although BEVCA enjoyed reciprocity with the Fairmont Concert Association, the recent dissolution of the latter meant that BEVCA was initially without a partner this season.
However, the Watonwan Entertainment Association and BEVCA have now entered into a new partnership, which means that BEVCA members will be invited to four concerts at St. James’s Armstrong Auditorium.
The Watonwan Entertainment Association concert series will feature Copper Street Brass on Thursday, September 15, classical pianist Jeeyoon Kim on Thursday, November 17, and the Dan Miller Cowboy Revue on Sunday, February 26. The public will also have a second opportunity to see Comme c’est douce on Monday, May 8.
BEVCA exclusively sells season tickets and does not offer individual concert tickets for purchase. However, affordability is one of BEVCA’s main goals, and the subscriptions, which provide access to a combined total of eight concerts at Blue Earth and St. James, are well worth the cost.
A regular season pass costs $50. However, K-12 students can purchase a subscription for just $10. A Family Season Pass is also available, giving the entire household access to the concert series for $110.
Ottesen explains that season ticket holders can share their tickets with other music enthusiasts if they discover there are one or two concerts they won’t be able to attend themselves.
All of these opportunities to enjoy music in the region are made possible by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, through a legislative appropriation of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. BEVCA’s Board of Directors also thanks those who participate in its financial support program.
Ottesen and Olsen note that each show will cost BEVCA between $3,950 and $5,850 this season, and the budget remains similar to mount concert series each year.
“Our budget is funded through the purchase of subscriptions, sponsors and donations, as well as a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council,”Olsen said.
He and Ottesen hope more people will take advantage of the veteran performers visiting Blue Earth at the start of the 2022-23 season.
“When you look at the size of Blue Earth, it’s remarkable that there is a concert association and a community theater,”says Ottesen. “It says a lot about the values of the community.”
Questions and ticket purchase requests can be directed to Gail Ottesen at 507-854-3233.