Heroes of Public Education: Tonto Community Concert Association

Heroes of Public Education: Tonto Community Concert Association
Posted on 03/28/2017
TCCA group photo

For over 35 years Tonto Community Concert Association has brought live professional performance to Payson. Whether it’s classical or country, Broadway or the Beatles, TCCA shows dazzle audiences that fill Longhorn auditorium.

The adult audience purchases season tickets to help fund the other audience: students attending noontime Outreach Concerts. Performers do a special, scaled-down, not dumbed-down, performance for young audiences.

Many students don’t see live professional performance. Right here in Payson, thanks to the extra investment TCCA makes, they see first-class performances, learn concert etiquette and ask the artists questions.

I’ve had the privilege of welcoming students and teachers to Outreach Concerts when Gail Gorry can’t be there. My favorite was Jason Coleman, Floyd Cramer’s grandson. You need to be of a certain age to remember Floyd Cramer. His biggest hit is “Last Date”. [play a few bars] Uh-oh. This had the potential of boring the socks off our students. But…Jason brought Cramer’s unique piano style into the 21st century. By concert’s end students were singing and dancing in the aisles to songs they all know.

At another Outreach Concert shortly after Prince died, Live from Nashville performed their rendition of “Purple Rain”, lighting up the auditorium with cell phones. As a high school musician, I attended some amazing live performances including a Leonard Bernstein Young People’s Concert at Lincoln Center so it’s very encouraging to see the tradition continue through TCCA.

Outreach Concerts are not the only thing TCCA does. Members have consistently partnered with PUSD to improve sound and lighting, replace flammable curtains, install a water fountain and, my favorite, raised funds to bring the Yamaha grand piano to our stage. Thomas Walling used to tell me that every TCCA performer that ever played it complimented us on its quality. TCCA’s last 2016-2017 Outreach Concert is magician Adam Trent. We intend to fill the auditorium to capacity in honor, recognition and appreciation of TCCA’s Hero of Public Education HOPE award. Thank you, TCCA!

TCCA’s last 2016-2017 Outreach Concert is magician Adam Trent. We intend to fill the auditorium to capacity in honor, recognition and appreciation of TCCA’s Hero of Public Education HOPE award. Thank you, TCCA!