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Ripon Arts League unveils 2013-14 concert season dates & performers
Jason Coleman

The Ripon Arts League is offering five concerts for the 2013-14 season.

The organization was founded in 1993 by a group of community members that wanted to bring a variety of musical performers to Ripon. The first concert was free to the public. The cost was underwritten by local restaurateur John Mangelos and the Townsend Opera Players of Modesto. That night, 120 people became members of the RAL. Two other concerts were presented that year.

The RAL was initially co-sponsored by the Ripon Unified School District and the Ripon Chamber of Commerce. They provided a venue for the performances, a telephone number and assisted in producing the programs for the concerts. The RAL became a separate entity in 1994 and is now recognized as a nonprofit organization by the IRS.

From that initial sign-up of 120 members, the Ripon Arts League has grown to over 500 members. Membership comes from Ripon, Escalon, Salida, Manteca and Modesto. Average attendance for a concert is between 350 and 450 members and guests. Memberships can be transferred to friends or relatives if a member is unable to attend a concert.

The cost of an individual Associate membership is $30. Additional membership categories cost between $100 and $1,000 and each membership category entitles the member to a range of memberships from 2 to 20. A reciprocity agreement with Manteca’s Kindred Arts allows any RAL member to attend one concert sponsored by Kindred Arts.

Although the Ripon Arts League is a membership organization, an individual may join at any time during the year. A person can either call the number below and request a membership packet or come to one of the concerts and complete the membership process there. The membership is good for all remaining concerts on the schedule.

All programs are held at the multi-use building at Ripon High School, usually on Tuesday or Thursday evenings beginning at 7:30. For more information about the programs in the 2013-14 series, call Joe O’Leary at 599-3223. For information about be¬coming a member of RAL, call Jackie Ballatore at 599-3476.

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013


The Legacy
of Floyd Cramer

Jason made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry at age 17, accompanying country music legend Hank Locklin on the song “Please Help Me, I’m Falling,” originally recorded by his grandfather Floyd Cramer more than 40 years prior. Two years later, Jason was given the honor of playing for the Country Music Hall of Fame Medallion Ceremony recognizing Floyd’s induction into the Hall of Fame. In his concerts, Jason highlights the far-reaching influence of his grandfather’s “slip notes” as he plays a nostalgic lineup of country, pop, and easy listening standards, including many that featured Floyd Cramer on the original recordings.

Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013


Tom Rigney, the electrifying violinist/composer, joins forces with some of the finest musicians on the San Francisco music scene to form Tom Rigney and Flambeau, a band that will raise the spirits of everyone around. Flambeau showcases his passionate, virtuoso fiddling, his range, depth, and originality as a composer, and of course, those notorious red boots. His bandmates are veterans and together they generate enough energy to ignite a dance floor or lift an audience to its feet. Flambeau specializes in Cajun and zydeco two-steps, low-down blues, funky New Orleans grooves, and heartbreakingly beautiful ballads and waltzes. And if, along the way, you pick up a trace of Rigney’s Irish roots or a little Swing and Rock and Roll, it just makes the musical gumbo that much tastier.

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013


The Swingin’ Blue Stars is a group comprised of four talented singers from the East Bay area. They perform close harmony, swing style music made popular by 1940’s female vocal groups such as the Andrews Sisters. They sing and dance to “people-pleasing” music, mixing saucy and romantic World War II tunes that appeal to a variety of audiences, whether young or elderly. Their mission remains the same, however – bringing history to life for the audience. They love entertaining audiences just as the USO troops did in World War II. For many veterans in the audience, faded memories suddenly come into sharp focus when they launch into a rendition of “Rum & Coca-Cola” or “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014


In 1991 Glenn Mount, Downey Pep Band Director in 1975, was asked to assemble a band to play for Downey’s 40-year celebration. The result was a 37-member group of past Downey Band members playing “Pep Band” songs from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. At its first gig, a dance for the Ballroom Dance Club of Modesto, several club attendees commented that it was the first time in many years they had heard a band play their favorite tunes the way they remembered them, with full orchestration and original scores. The band’s main function is to play Big Band Era music for dances, although they do continue to play local festivals and special events. Today the group is made up of a variety of players from many different musical backgrounds.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Every artist has an epiphany. For classically-trained, award-winning pianist Richard Glazier, it happened at age nine, when he saw the film “Girl Crazy” with a score by George & Ira Gershwin. So excited was he by the music he heard, Glazier was prompted to write a fan letter to famed lyricist Ira Gershwin. After corresponding with each other for three years, Gershwin invited his young friend, then 12, to meet him in Beverly Hills. During their visit, Ira asked Glazier to play a Gershwin tune on the piano that once belonged to his brother, legendary composer George Gershwin. Fueled by Ira’s encouragement and interest, Glazier dedicated himself — that very day — to the Gershwin repertoire and the American Popular Songbook, eventually becoming one of the genre’s leading authorities.