If you happened to be the 676th person seeking membership in a proposed musical association in Oneonta in early 1929, it became your unlucky number, as your name probably went on a waiting list. We know this organization today as the Oneonta Concert Association (OCA), now celebrating its 85th season of offering our region’s concertgoers world-class programs in chamber music, dance, jazz and orchestra at an affordable price.
A free holiday concert adds an exclamation point to affordable, as the Association will present pianist Richard Fountain on Thursday, Dec. 27, 7 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta as part of the 85th season, in addition to its regular five-concert series. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
Fountain will play works by J.S. Bach, Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, Edward MacDowell, and Gary D. Belshaw.
Remaining concerts in 2013 include Chatham Baroque, on Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m. at the Oneonta Theatre, and Duo Parnas, on Friday, April 5, 7:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, Oneonta. The 85th Anniversary Gala Concert will culminate the season with Ron Carter’s Golden Striker Trio, on Friday, May 17, 7:30 p.m. at the Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center.
Back in 1928, Mrs. Ethel Mills, herself a musician in Oneonta, had heard about a New York City group calling themselves Community Concerts Corp., a combination of nine of the best known managers, having all the stellar artists on their lists, and making them available to smaller cities across the eastern states.
Community Concerts came to Oneonta after Mrs. Mills had convinced members of the Oneonta Women’s Club to sell memberships to help start a local organization, the Oneonta Community Concert Association. A public meeting was also held at the Municipal Building, today’s 242 Main St., Oneonta, as Mrs. Mills and Attorney Owen C. Becker told of the advantages of having a permanent organization with membership to support a few high quality concerts.