The Blue Earth Valley Concert Association, a non-profit organization now entering its 45th season, has one central goal: to make beautiful music accessible to everyone.
“In short, the mission is to bring quality music and artists to the region at an affordable cost” explains Gail Ottesen, member of the association’s board of directors.
“We want these concerts to be accessible to everyone”, She adds.
The music Ottesen and the rest of the Blue Earth Valley Concert Association hope to bring to the community is diverse.
“The artists we bring here are artists who perform all over the world”, said Ottesen.
But beyond variety, the association is also looking for artists who, above all, will know how to create a captivating experience for spectators.
“One of our criteria is that the artists are very engaging”, Ottesen explains. She hopes this goal will succeed in attracting as many members of the community as possible.
The Blue Earth Valley Concert Association is based in Faribault County. However, Ottesen shares that he goes far beyond these borders.
“We have clients who come from 17 different communities”, said Ottesen. She has a theory as to why the concert series has such a large circulation.
“We have a wonderful place”Ottesen shares the venue for the concerts at the Performing Arts Center at Blue Earth Area High School. âParking is free, and it is fully accessible to people with reduced mobility. The artists comment on the place all the time.â
“It’s very comfortable, and there is no bad place in the house,”she concludes.
Blue Earth Area High School‘s Performing Arts Center will host an exciting array of artists during the association’s next season.
“We will start with an acappella group called Ball in the House”,Ottesen leaves. “They perform moving acappella.”â
The five-man Boston-based group will perform on Tuesday, October 5 this week at 7 p.m. ET.
The next gig was originally supposed to be a performance by a band called Janoska, but Ottesen shares that they had to update the schedule because Janoska, who is based in Europe, was no longer able to make it to the United States due to COVID restrictions.
“We’re going to get Intersection Trio”,Ottesen clarifies. âIt’s a string ensemble, a quality group.Intersection Trio will perform at 7 p.m. on November 9 of this year.
Season performers will also include David Shannon, an Irish singer who has performed a variety of pop and classical songs for 25 years. Shannon will honor the Performing Arts Center at Blue Earth Area High School at 7 p.m. on February 8.
Also arriving next spring, Barron Ryan, a “classic-meets-pianist-cool,”according to Ottesen, and Miss Myra and the Moonshiners, a vintage jazz combo group based in Minnesota.
Ryan will perform at 7 p.m. on March 18, while Miss Myra and the Moonshiners will take the stage at the same time on April 18.
Ottesen shares that, in fact, clients will have the opportunity to see Miss Myra’s group twice if they wish.
Fairmont, which has its own concert association, has partnered with the Blue Earth Valley Concert Association to provide customers with double the opportunities to attend concerts.
“Fairmont has granted us reciprocity”,Ottesen explains. This means that customers who purchase season tickets for the Blue Earth Valley Concert Association will also have access to all of the Fairmont Concert Association programming.
Miss Myra and the Moonshiners will perform at the Performing Arts Center at Fairmont Junior Senior High School on December 5 of this year, so superfans can have twice the fun.
Ottesen shares that the association exclusively offers season tickets, rather than offering tickets for individual performances.
âFinancially, we need to know what our budget will be for the seasonâ,explains Ottesen.
Affordability is one of the association’s primary goals, however, and their tickets, which provide access to a combined total of nine concerts at Blue Earth and Fairmont, are well worth the cost.
Adults can purchase a membership for $ 50. However, says Ottesen, “Students can come to five concerts for $ 10 if they get a ticket.”â
Ottesen also recommends family passes for the season, which cost $ 100 to access the entire concert series for the whole family.
She notes, “You can share tickets with someone else”which can be useful for those who must miss a scheduled concert.
Ottesen describes several COVID precautions the association takes to ensure the safety of community members who attend their events.
âOur board of directors worked with the Allied Concert Series out of town to book artists,âOttesen leaves. âAll artists are fully vaccinated. “
She keeps, âThe artists travel together in a small pod.
In terms of COVID regulation, explains Ottesen, âWe will respect what the school has put in place. At the moment, masks are not mandatory, but that may change. “â
She adds, âWe will encourage the groups to stay with their group and to disperse. “
Ottesen concludes, âWe want our patrons to feel safe, and we want our artists to feel safe in our community. “â
Ottesen hopes to see increased community involvement as the new season dawns.
She shares, âWe have patrons who are generous in giving extra money. “
The association was also recently fortunate to receive a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Nonetheless, Ottesen ultimately seeks more diverse community participation at future events.
“I would like to see more young people being exposed to quality music”said Ottesen. “Just to see a pro play and know that these are people who travel all over the world, and they are here in our community.”
Ottesen receives a lot of joy watching these amazing performances every year.
“I am very excited to return to live music”,she shares. âI am very happy to see customers come through the doors again. “
“It’s great that we can offer this in rural Minnesota”Ottesen continues. “We just want it to continue.”
She concludes, ” I believe it. I think it’s good for our region.â