Music lovers have a reason to celebrate this fall when the Community Concert Hall, the Four Corners region’s cultural nexus for the past two decades, marks that birthday with a special edition of the annual Jazz on the Hill fundraiser.
This year’s 20th anniversary gala features vocalist Storm Large with her band and the San Juan Symphony, at 7:30 p.m., October 21. There will also be a pre-show dinner catered by the Kennebec Café in the Concert Hall Courtyard. Tickets to both events are available at durangoconcerts.com.
The Concert Hall will also host a free open house 1 – 4 p.m., Sunday, October 22.
The Community Concert Hall was borne of a disaster that ended up a blessing for southwest Colorado’s cultural and educational communities. On January 19, 1993, at 5:35 a.m. -- two and a half hours before the day’s first classes were to start – FLC’s Fine Arts Building caved in under the weight of an unusual and extended series of January snowfalls.
No one was hurt, but the collapse destroyed the Fine Arts Auditorium. At the time, the venue was the only formal, large-capacity performance facility in the region, and with its loss the community also lost its ability to host large-scale cultural performances.
In the summer of 1994, the College kicked off a $5-million campaign for a new concert venue on campus. The campaign met its goal within a year, funded with a combination of monies from state, city, county, tribal, and nonprofit entities, and private support more than 700 individual donors.
In May 1997, the new 600-seat Community Concert Hall launched into action. It hasn’t rested since. Two decades later the Community Concert Hall is a staple of community, culture, and education for FLC, southwestern Colorado, and the Four Corners region, hosting local, regional, and national musical, comedy, drama, lecture, and dance acts in an intimate setting.