By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The whisper heard by a whole community
The executive board of the Manteca Kindred Arts Concert Association, are, from left, Carolyn Tatum, vice president; Judy Byer, president; and, Pat Mattson, treasurer. Not pictured is Don Peterson, secretary. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

If you want to see something happen, give a hint – a broad hint. You never know what might happen.

Bob Camden did just that. “There’s something missing in Manteca,” he stated, addressing not just one or two people, but the entire community. That’s long before Manteca acquired the public relations moniker, The Family City. And that was before the population influx that catapulted Manteca into a commuter town.

Fortunately for the late Manteca High School teacher, he was also a columnist for the Manteca News. So he used this high vantage point to share with the readers his observation that it’s time for classical music lovers to stop making special drives to the big cities and let the world-class art performances come to The Family City instead.

The hint kicked into conception and the Kindred Arts Concert Series was born.

That was a decade-and-a-half ago.

This 2011-12 concert season which officially starts with the first concert offering in October, the organization whose zeal and dedication more than made up for its meager size, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with five performances lined up to mark this high water mark in Kindred Arts’ history.

Judy Byer, who has been the president of the Kindred Arts board for the last six years, shared part of the secret of the organization’s success during the recent special meeting of the combined executive and auxiliary boards at an outdoor breakfast setting.

“First of all, I think it’s the artists that come to the performances. And it’s a lot to do with (board secretary and artistic selection committee coordinator) Don Peterson, because he has the skills, the know-how, and he’s a professional musician,” Byer explained.

Over the years, and for this special silver anniversary concert season, Peterson has rounded up an impressive lineup of performers of national and international caliber. Three of the five performers this season, who are coming back because they were “so popular and very good,” demonstrate that fact. The Tilden Trio (piano, violin and cello) was formed in 2004 by Juilliard schoolmates and have performed in numerous prestigious venues in the Bay Area; pianist Tien Hsieh is an internationally renowned pianist who is a highly sought-after performer throughout Europe, Asia and North; and, the Stanford Woodwind Quintet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and French horn) is a group made up of professors at Stanford University and is considered one of America’s most distinguished ensembles.

The job involved in putting together a successful show year after year requires “a lot of work” but, as Byer put it, “It’s worthwhile once it’s all done.”

The other part of the Kindred Arts’ success has to do with the support of faithful donors plus the people who purchase season tickets year after year.

“We’ve had continued support from donors and season ticket holders,” Byer said.

The ticket fees and donations are augmented by the proceeds generated from the organization’s only major fund-raiser during the year called the Great Options. “It’s been continually successful,” Byer said of this unique fund-raising venue.

Celebration plans to mark the 25th anniversary of Kindred Arts are still being discussed but the one thing for sure is a “big reception” that could be held either on the first or last concert of the season, Byer said.

Five performances are scheduled for the current season – some seasons have four performances – which includes a special Christmas concert presented by the Stockton Portsmen Barbershop Chorus scheduled for Dec. 18. All performances for the 2011-12 season are held on Sundays starting at 3 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church where Kindred Arts began. Except for a few years when the performances were held elsewhere – one year, the program was held at the First Nazarene Church on Argonaut Street – all concerts have been hosted by St. Paul’s United Methodist.

Tickets for the performances are available at the door; however, season tickets offer the best bang for the buck especially for families with children under 18 years of age. A season for one adult (four to five performances) is just $45; $55 for a one adult plus family; and, $100 for two adults plus family.

For more information about the Kindred Arts, and to obtain advance tickets, call (209) 823-2570 or (209) 239-2194. You can also visit the organization’s web site at Donations, which are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, are always welcome.