Board of Directors:
- David Grantz, President
- Tim Snedecor, Vice President
- Sandy Blackwell, Treasurer
- Mary Ann Torkelson, Secretary
- Phil Livingston, Concert Master
The Seaford Community Concert Association is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization whose mission is to bring top quality performers to this area at a very affordable cost to its members. We have been doing this since 1949! Our annual membership drive is generally open August through September of each year. Concert admission is by membership only.
SCCA concerts are presented in the beautiful Kenneth C. Madden Auditorium at Seaford High School. This recently upgraded facility, one of the largest venues in Southern Delaware, boasts new seating and a state-of-the-art sound system. Through our long partnership with the Seaford School District, SCCA provides annual outreach shows for local students, providing musical experiences that are outside their normal listening habits! We have also purchased, or co-purchased, auditorium equipment ranging from the concert grand piano to spotlights to microphones. In exchange we are frequently consulted when capital improvements to the facility are being planned. This is truly a partnership that benefits everyone in our region.
History of the Seaford Community Concert Associaiton
By Jim & Barbara Burket (president & secretary 1971-2007)
With a firm determination & enthusiasm to bring fine artists to this area, a group of music lovers, back in 1949, got together and started the Seaford Community Concert Association. Little did they suspect at that time that the membership to this organization would grow to exceed the new High School auditorium size of 1200 for the first time in the 2006-2007 season. Their history, however, was not without it’s ups and downs.
The organization started their life in association with the Community Concerts division of Columbia artists out of New York City. Their first season included the young duo-piano artist Whittemore & Lowe, who, incidentally were the only artists to perform three times on our stage. (57-58 season and 75-76 season which was the last tour for the duo)
The first subscriber history on record was in the 56-57 series when it reached 650: a comfortable size for the then existing auditorium. The membership continued to grow until a sudden drop in 1991 when the membership hit a low of 455 members when the association considered folding. However, the end was not to be! Several board members did some campaigning and, with the aid of Irv Wheatley, president of the Seaford Chamber of Commerce at the time and their gift of $2500, SCCA rose from the proverbial ashes.
In the 1990’s the Community Concerts division of Columbia artists was separated as an independent organization which allowed them to provide a broader range of artists from which the local organizations could choose. Around 2000 the main Community Concerts organization was brought under the Trawick Artists organization. They, however, were poorly managed and brought great financial pressure to the local organizations. The Seaford organization, by then, was strong enough to carry on and eventually became associated with Live On Stage for their artist contacts.
SCCA is now a self-supporting, non profit, organization, run solely by local volunteers. It is, however, affiliated with the nationwide “Live On Stage” organization out of Nashville, TN. Between the Nashville staff and their field representatives, and the Printertainment business, they offer a full range of services to our local organization including: booking, staging of artists, promotion, and membership campaign operation. Community Concerts operates under the concept of “Organized Audience Plan”, that is, securing an audience before final booking of the concerts. An annual membership campaign, utilizing the plan, ensures concerts are fully funded before each season begins, through membership dues, and patron gifts. No tickets are sold to individual concerts.
In the past, our members have enjoyed concerts such as: Whittemore & Lowe, Rise Stevens, Simon Estes, Columbus Boys Choir, Earl Rose Trio, Little Angels of Kore Folk Ballet, Ted Alan Worth, many brass quintets, Bob Crosby and the Bobcats, Hambro Quartet of Pianos, New Cristy Minstrell, Ballet Florida, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the River City Brass Band, the musical Forever Plaid, the Inflatable Theater, the Great China Acrobats, and Hector Olivera, to name a few.
The association guarantees 3 concerts each year (and usually has more). The association believes that the unique opportunity to experience the best of live performance should be accessible and available to every person in the country and the Seaford Association is doing their part to make that happen in this area of the Eastern Shore. Assistance towards this end also comes from our patron plan.
We recently lost a very important part of our SCCA family. As many of you know, Dr. Allan Kittila passed away in August of last year. He and his wife Karen have been associated with the SCCA since 1968 acting in many capacities. Karen was secretary for many years and Allan was concert master prior to becoming president. He has always been very active in his church and he is well known in the Seaford community. But he had a special love of the arts and Allan loved working to bring this entertainment to the community.
Allan was a very active citizen. He had a passion for life and enjoyed music, travel, writing and teaching. He was an accomplished pianist, organist and saxophone player. The SCCA presented a way for Allan to express his love for music and the arts. He has been on the board for over 40 years, serving as President for the past several years. He dearly loved this organization and worked very hard to keep it alive and active. He was thrilled to bring professional entertainment to the Seaford audience and he really enjoyed it when an especially good program brought the audience to its feet. It really gave him much joy. He would look over and smile and give a ‘thumbs up.’ Allan will be missed.
Allan was succeeded in 2012 by Marge Lynch, whose background in managing an opera company and her focus on providing only the best entertainment for our community allowed SCCA to maintain its membership level throughout her term as president. Marge, with the full support of the board of directors, kept the organization solvent while keeping ticket prices the same and adding a sixth concert to celebrate our sixty-sixth season during 2014-2015. Marge’s self-deprecating humor, including the occasional costume, will be missed.
Starting in 2015, Dave Grantz took over as the president of SCCA. A retired Seaford School District administrator, Dave brings knowledge of the concert facility and organizational skills to the SCCA. He is thrilled to be a part of SCCA and hopes to expand membership while staying true to traditions that have made the association so successful through the years.