Los Alamos Concert Association artistic director Ann McLaughlin addresses local Kiwanis Club members. Courtesy photo
BY BROOKE ELLIS
The Los Alamos Concert Association has been bringing wonderful music to our community for 75 years.
On Feb. 15, the Kiwanis Club was treated to a presentation by Ann McLaughlin, the artistic director of the association. She spoke about their inception, history and, and accomplishments, and expressed appreciation for all the hard work done by the volunteer board.
McLaughlin said her role is to choose the performers, which she likened to being “a kid in a candy store”. She is contacted daily by agents suggesting that she book the musicians they represent.
She outlined some of the many tasks required in order to produce a concert, which range from producing e-mail advertising, distributing posters, booking accommodations and transportation for the artists, making sure the artists have what they need to be comfortable backstage, properly setting up the stage, to running the ticket booth and handing out programs.
In 1946, a national organization – the Community Concert Association – was pushing hard to establish a concert association in every town in the U.S. To form one, however, a local group had to sell memberships. Once this requirement became known in Los Alamos, volunteers sold 300 memberships. This in a town that at the time had only 1000 people.
Eventually the local organization decided it could handle the necessary work itself and dissolved its connection to the national association. In the years since, the Los Alamos Concert Association has become a nationally recognized concert producer and has been able to bring performers such as Joshua Bell, the Canadian Brass and many other very renowned artists here to share their talents with the community