The Centre Area Concert Association (CACA) was formed in 1976 as the Community Concert Association when the Sauk Centre School district was recognized as one of six exemplary statewide sites to combine education and community efforts for fine arts advancement. A local committee of arts advocates concluded that a concert series presented by professional artists was their highest priority.
The inaugural 1977-1978 season (the first president as Pamela Neet and the first secretary-treasurer , Bernita Torgerson) featured Earl Rose, pianist, Czech Folk Ballet, Berkshire Chamber Players, Paul LaValle's Orchestra, and the New Christy Minstrels presented in the SCHS gym. The audiences were comprised of season members from Sauk Centre, Alexandria, Glenwood, Long Prairie, Melrose, and many surrounding smaller communities. Reciprocity included other associations under the Columbia Artists of New York umbrella.
In 1983, Alexandria began their own association causing decreased memberships. The concert association struggled to continue and was threatened with legal action by Columbia (before its demise) for using their copyrighted term "community" after we had changed to Allied Concert Services of Plymouth, MN. The renamed Centre Area Concert Association reduced its seasons to three concerts in 1987-88 and 1988-89 and changed their reciprocity to the Allied families in Alexandria, Brainerd, Ortonville-Milbank (SD), and Wadena.
In 1999-2000, Long Prairie, Melrose, and Sauk Centre, each with new, exquisite auditoriums and elegant grand pianos, formed a co-op and held concerts in each community. Overwhelming generosity by season underwriting by businesses in all 3 communities infused enriched enthusiasm. Occasional grants from the Central MN Arts Board also aided in a gradual return to a full (5 or 6) concert season. Members since have enjoyed an unparalleled parade of performers including the Stars of Lawrence Welk, Texas Boys Choir, Jury's Irish Celebration, Shanghai Acrobats, Glenn Miller Orchestra, New Sousa Band, Tonic Sol Fa, Church Basement Ladies, John Davidson, Tribute to Abba, Golden Strings, Von Trapp Children, and many more numbering over one hundred-eighty programs.
Today CACA continues its quest for growth in memberships and sponsorships to offset rising artistic fees and to fuel its desire for increasingly higher quality performances. New board members have introduced a resurging interest which energizes our hope for the future and the persistent mission of providing high quality performances at an affordable price . . . ."and the beat goes on".