Concerts for the discerning ear

Hemet Community Concert Association begins new season on Sunday, Oct. 14

Photo by Jarabe Mexicano
The five-member ensemble, Jarabe Mexicano, performs Oct. 14 at Crossroads Baptist Church, 433 S. San Jacinto St., Hemet.

■ By Ann Smith / Contributed

Hemet Community Concert Association, a 42-year-old cultural icon, has brought to town an amazing amount of high quality music on a consistent basis. Anyone who complains there is a lack of cultural diversity in Hemet should attend one of Hemet Concert Association’s events.
Even as a musician myself, I was blown away by the quality of music when I began attending. Equally impressive is the way the organization is run. HCCA is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization with an experienced board of directors. All participate in HCCA’s operations as a labor of love and in the interest of sharing a musical experience at an affordable price.
Where can you go for $12 to hear a concert of the quality of the concerts playing locally? Of course that is the price if you purchase an annual subscription, which includes five concerts for only $60. Individual concerts are significantly more. See the website for more information.
You think we’re culturally void? Think again. There are a number of options for entertainment (besides the local movie theater) including Diamond Valley Arts Center on Harvard, Historic Hemet Theater, not to mention the local museums, and Diamond Valley Lake. Golden Era Productions does more than its fair share to bring events to the valley via the nonprofit community (that truly benefits).
In addition, we have numerous talented musicians in our community, performing all kinds of genres from blues and rock to jazz and bluegrass. Now that’s variety.
Hemet Concert Association is one of Hemet’s jewels. If you do an internet search, you’ll find the majority of Inland Empire communities have a concert association. Not to compare apples to oranges, but HCCA is no slouch when it comes to high-end performers. The association is fortunate to have Diane Mitchell as musical director. One of the secrets to its success is in the fact that the organization brings string quartets, trios, and small groups to perform. Bringing in a large group requires a larger cash outlay. HCCA strives to make its offerings affordable. Diane has a keen eye (and ear) for just the kind of music our diverse community enjoys.
Take a look at the five-concert series and you’ll note there are a variety of offerings, from world music (first concert offering is Jarabe Mexicano) to classical, jazz, and pop. We have numerous attendees from the surrounding areas of Idyllwild, Menifee, Temecula, and Banning, to name a few. On a scale of one to ten, HCCA is a 10!
Following is this season’s concert series:
• Jarabe Mexicano performs Oct. 14, 2018.
• Cristina Montes Mateo, harpist, performs Jan. 13, 2019
• Duo Turgeon, Canadian duet, performs Feb. 24, 2019
• Camarada plays March 24, 2019
• Diderot String Quartet performs April 7, 2019
All concerts are performed inside Crossroads Baptist Church, 433 So. San Jacinto St., Hemet, CA Parking is free. It’s a great venue with excellent acoustics.

In addition to these fabulous musicians performing, there is usually a companion outreach opportunity at local schools. For more information on the concerts and outreach, contact Nancy Austin 951-658-7319

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