Community volunteers audition world-class performers at ‘Live on Stage’ Conference in Nashville

HARLINGEN — Seven Harlingen Concert Association (HCA) board members were in Nashville, Tenn., in early August, participating in the 16th annual “Live on Stage” National Conference.

At the heart of this conference is a Talent Showcase, where professional musicians and entertainers audition for bookings in small and mid-size communities throughout the United States. Among those on the “Live on Stage” roster are world-class pop, bluegrass, big band, folk, country, classical, and jazz musicians from throughout the United States, as well as instrumentalists, vocalists, and dancers from Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Scotland, Russia, and other nations.

This year, the HCA group saw 27 performances during the Showcase.

HCA President Bonnie Brown and board members Susan Johnson, Cheryl LaBerge, Gene Morgan, Julie Ng-Castillo, Paul Quintana, Jr., and Naomi Urbina were impressed by the variety and quality of artists presented. They included Americana folk trio, Burlap to Cashmere, who resurrect the storied Greenwich Village scene of the 1960s, the extraordinary Sons of Serendip quartet, finalists on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent, and awardwinning tenor Ben Gulley.

Other groups included M5 Mexican Brass, pianist Jason Lyle Black, the Maxwell Quartet, based

in Glasgow, Scotland, and Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Review.

The HCA volunteers also visited with and auditioned new acts by artists who have performed in Harlingen previously, including the high-energy country/rock band Savannah Jack and the celebrated 3 Redneck Tenors.

The 23-member HCA board of directors will meet in September to narrow their selections to six artists/performances for their 2019-2020 season.

The all-volunteer, nonprofit Harlingen Concert Association has been bringing internationally-acclaimed, touring artists to the Valley since 1933. Thanks to season ticket-holders and the generosity of sponsors, these concerts are offered at very affordable, familyfriendly prices.