Illusionist Jason Bishop, seen here performing at one of his recent shows, is among the Greater Alton Concert Association’s lineup of entertainment this season. Other acts include the Courthouse Steps, Stringfever and the Diamonds.
The Greater Alton Concert Association (GACA) returns in full swing at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at Lewis and Clark Community College Hatheway Hall for another entertaining, variety-packed season.
The organization traces its roots back to 1941, when a group of “interested Altonians” formed the Alton Concert Association with the goal of bringing “professional musicians, dancers and theater to Alton and the surrounding communities,” according to the organization’s website.
“The people of Alton thought they deserved quality entertainment without having to go to St. Louis to see it,” says Barbara McHugh, vice president of advertising for GACA. “During World War II, there was a lot of rationing and people couldn’t necessarily afford to travel as a result. One of the first concerts was for the Von Trapp Family, which was a huge event.”
Upon completion of Hatheway Hall in 1968, performances have found a permanent seasonal venue. The performers and acts, however, have remained far from predictable.
“When I joined the board, we had a lot of big band music,” McHugh says. “In the last eight years, we’ve been trying to bring more variety to the shows.”
This upcoming season is no exception on variety, and even includes something new to GACA.
“We have an illusionist (Jason Bishop) scheduled this time,” McHugh says. “Some board members and I saw him in Nashville and were very impressed by his act. We hope the audience will enjoy it as much as we did.
“We started a family plan to get young people accustomed to going to live concerts. You can buy a season pass for children ages 4 through 16 for only $15, and it can be used for up to two children.”
The season kicks off Sept. 20 with Bandstand Boogie featuring the Diamonds, followed by The Charles Glenn Group on Oct. 25, The Jason Bishop Show on Feb. 28, The Courthouse Steps on March 20 and Stringfever on April 17. All concerts begin at 3 p.m. and tickets for all shows are $27 at the door and $25 in advance for adults (ages 12 and older). Tickets for children are $10 in advance or at the door.
For season tickets, contact GACA at (618) 468-4222. Individual tickets can be purchased at the following locations: the Alton Atrium, Alton CNB Bank & Trust, Alton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau and Halpin Music, among other locations.
For a full list of ticket outlets and more information on the 2015-16 season and GACA, visit www.altonconcerts.org.