Havre Daily News
Keri Woodwick, a Hi-Line Concert Association board member, said her 13-year-old son Erik has been “the best recruitment tool I have” for the group. He loves going to the concerts and tells all of his friends and their families about them, she said.
“One time we had to miss a concert and he said ‘Let's never do that again,'” Woodwick said today. “He always has to sit up front especially for pianists so he can see the fingers fly over the keys.”
The association, which has been in business for 67 years, is in danger of going under. Board members had hoped to raise the $14,000 they need for next year's season by Thursday. They have come close with $10,995 raised and about $1,000 more promised, association treasurer Pam Hillery said today.
The group will press on, at least for now.
Hillery said the “buzz is out there” about the association's need but it is still short on cash.
“This is something the community should not lose. Along with others like Northern Showcase and local art galleries, it all makes this beautiful mosiac of art in our community, which makes this a better place to live,” she said.
Hillery said the association will continue to solicite new and renewing members until the end of the week, when it will regroup and assess its financial situation. She said the association's ticket campaigns usually start mid-March and end in May, but in recent years, season pass sales have been dismal and the group has had to extend the drive over the summer.
The group is at “that really odd stage now” where it is close to meeting its goal, with 315 seats sold, and unsure of how to proceed, Hillery added.
Woodwick said she has been pleading the association's plight when she's out and about. She said she's not ready to give up and is hoping the association will be able to raise the funds it needs.
The majority of the funds would go to next year's performers: Russian pianist Alexandre Moutouzkine, The Gateway Trio - a mix of vocals, bass, guitar and banjo, the harp and vocal duo Bronn and Katherine Journey, and the ShaeLaurel family band. About $1,000 would be used to print tickets and brochures, and to pay fees for using licensed material.
Season ticket costs are $15 for students, $40 for adults and families pay $100 for the four concernts. The ticket prices will rise Thursday, with a $5 increase for students and adults, and a $15 increase for families. For $100, businesses can purchase two season passes and get their name listed as a sponsor in the performance programs.
Association board member Sharon Dolph said the group has been tossing around ideas for fundraisers, including a reception for one of the acts featuring wine, hors d'oeuvres and a limousine.
Dolph said if the association can raise enough funds she would like to see more upscale acts such as chamber music or a ballet but the group is surviving “hand to mouth right now.”
“Quality acts are expensive so we need more members and sponsorships,” she said.
Hillery said she is willing to do what it takes to keep the group afloat. She hopes community members will call her before she decides to call them, she added.
To purchase tickets, contact Hillery at 265-4455 or Woodwick at 265-1533.