Anoka Community Concert Association celebrates 70 years

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

It’s been 70 years since the Anoka Community Concert Association started making music in the community.

While the melody and mission of the association have not changed, the harmonies have gotten richer.

“It started with classical music,” said Carol Kabat, past president and current member of the association’s Board of Directors. Though patrons continue to enjoy the classical genre, “(we’re) trying to introduce other music, too.”

This year, five acts will present music from a variety of genres, as well as comedy, dance and other forms of entertainment.

“We’re always promoting young talent,” Kabat said.

Two on Tap bring high-energy song and dance to Anoka High School Nov. 20.Photo submitted
Two on Tap bring high-energy song and dance to Anoka High School Nov. 20. Photo submitted

Limited memberships remain available for the 2017-2018 landmark season. Adult members are able to attend five shows for $50. Student memberships cost $25, and family memberships are available for two parents and all children for $125.Memberships can be purchased by calling Joann Johnson at 763-421-6477. More information is available online at

This year’s acts are:

-Paul McDermand, Anoka High School, Oct. 6, 2017.

-Two on Tap, Anoka High School, Nov. 20, 2017.

-Duo Baldo, Anoka High School, Feb. 20, 2018.

-3 Redneck Tenors, Blaine High School, March 5, 2018.

-Side Street Strutters, Anoka High School, April 18, 2018.

McDermand opens the season with steel drums to give audiences a taste of island life.

“He is just so explosive,” Kabat said. “He’s got so much energy.”

Melissa Giattino and Ron DeStefano dance their way into audiences’ hearts as Two on Tap. Singing and dancing, they bring the magic of Broadway to Anoka.

Pianist Aldo Gentileschi and violinist Brad Repp are a world-class musical duo, but they also infuse their show with comedy.

Billed as “Duck Dynasty” at Carnegie Hall, 3 Redneck Tenors show off their pipes and powerful humor.

The season concludes with Side Street Strutters’ jazz sounds.

While the membership cost has increased tenfold in 70 years (three concerts in 1948 cost $5), it’s still a bargain for five traveling acts, according to Mary Smith, in charge of publicity for the association.

“It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to keep it affordable,” she said. “We really owe a thanks for the community support over these last 70 years.”

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