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Our association was formed in 1947 when a group of music lovers felt a need to provide good music at reasonable prices for the Beaver Dam area. On June 20, 1947 they met at the Elk’s Club to form an organization that could arrange for three or four concerts by artists of metropolitan, radio or TV fame; and a membership campaign to finance them. October 20-25, 1947 was set aside to solicit sponsors for the concerts. Seventy-four people met November 3, 1947 at the Hotel Rogers for dinner and to plan, with a representative of Columbia Concerts, Inc. of New York, for a membership drive and the first program under the name of the Beaver Dam Community Concert Associaton.
The campaign was held November 3-9, 1947, with headquarters at the Elk’s Club. Cost of memberships would be $5 plus a $1 tax for adults, and $2.50 plus a $.50 tax for students. A budget of $2,300 was established. Since the entire Dodge County area was to be invited, the organization soon changed their name to the Dodge County Concert Association. On November 26, 1947, the first concert was held in the Wayland Gymnasium and featured the von Trapp Family Singers. The Christmas music of Austria highlighted the program to the delight of an audience of 1,000 – the largest attendance at any concert since.
Many different tastes in music have been satisfied through the years – with artists such as the Indianapolis Symphony, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, the New Christy Minstrels and the St. Olaf Symphony Orchestra.
Over the following years, a small group of volunteers has been keeping this program alive – arranging to bring wonderful music and entertainment from around the country and around the world to audiences in Beaver Dam. At present we have a board of 18 people (3 are honorary) all giving of their time without any compensation other than the satisfaction of having completed a job and doing it well. We meet once a month (currently at the Beaver Dam Library) to plan programming with Allied Concerts of Minnesota, working on budgeting, soliciting memberships and patrons through mailings and personal calls – then seeing tickets get to our members prior to the first concert each season.
Today we plan on five concerts each season – from September to May – and work with a budget closer to $30,000. We plan for the next season’s programs even before the first concert of the current season has been presented. We have been fortunate to be able to present most of our concerts at the Beaver Dam High School Auditorium – a fantastic venue – and we bring ever-more exciting artists to our stage. We also have a reciprocal agreement with the Watertown Concert Association, giving our members access to those concerts with our ticket – a wonderful bonus.
DODGE COUNTY CONCERT ASSOCIATION
Phone: 920-219-9523 (Rodney G. Binder, President)