Providing the magic of live performances by bringing artists and audiences together.
Since 1983 this has been the primary mission of Rappahannock Concert Association and 30 years later this goal is still being met.
RCA began with a handful of volunteers from Essex and Richmond counties who wanted to bring professional live concerts to the rural Northern Neck. And they did just that with a season consisting of three concerts . A variety of venues for these concerts included Richmond County Elementary School stages and churches.
Members of the original Board of Directors represented Tappahannock, Warsaw, and Montross. The three-concert season continued until 1998 when the season grew to four concerts and in 2001 to five concerts.
The organization’s roots go back to “Community Concerts” which began in the 1920s when there was very little funding for the arts. Their idea was to raise money first and then hire the artists instead of trying to make up deficits after artists were hired. Financial risks were eliminated. This humble experiment became the largest and most enduring network of performing arts presenters that has ever existed.
When the stock market crashed in 1929 there were 42 community concert associations in the United States. Ten years later that number had grown to 335. It appeared that people regarded these concerts as a lifeline to normalcy rather than just entertainment.
Student outreach programs have been a part of RCA from the beginning. At first mostly Richmond and Westmoreland Primary Schools were included. Today the student outreach programs include Lancaster, Richmond, Northumberland and Westmoreland schools.
The 2009-10 season brought a new venue for the concerts–the state-of-the-art theater in the new Northumberland Middle and High School complex. A partnership with Northumberland Public Schools was responsible for the new home. This arrangement enables RCA to bring educational outreach programs to students and allows the music department to use the Steinway grand piano for special curricula.
The 2012-13 season’s concerts will feature pianist, Thomas Pandolfi; The Jeff Little Trio; Brooks Tegler Big Band; Trio Con Brio Copenhagen and Duquesne University’s Tamburitzans.