McKinney Community Concert Association (MCCA) opened their 41st season with a packed auditorium on Saturday, Oct. 11 at Christ Fellowship, when Joe Gransden and his Big Band of 16 first-class musicians filled the concert-goers with great music and excitement. At 43, Gransden is a seasoned performer who primarily played his trumpet and sang songs of Frank Sinatra. If the audience closed their eyes, they’d have thought Sinatra was back. Several couples couldn’t resist getting up and dancing to the music.

One of the new concert members (who danced with his date during the encore) was Gregory Youngs, Facilities Manager at Methodist McKinney Hospital. As Youngs was in line for Gransden to autograph the CD he bought, he said he was thrilled with the jazz music, some of his favorite of all time, adding, “This one concert was worth the whole membership price!”

Actually, Youngs won the two MCCA memberships at the 17th Annual Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic silent auction on June 2, so he got a good deal on the price of two season memberships. Regular memberships sell for $95 per adult, $35 for students and $225 for families for all seven concerts, one per month from October 2014 through April 2015.

McKinney Online - Joe Gransden and his Big Band.

Youngs is looking forward to attending all of the great concerts this season, varying from jazz to Nashville to Broadway and more. The next concert features The Marlins on Saturday, Nov. 1, who are four musical, comical brothers who have been singing at concerts and fairs from coast to coast for the last 25 years, and first appeared here five years ago.

In addition to a very successful opening concert for the new 2014-2015 season, MCCA celebrated its new “Education Connection” with McKinney ISD performing arts students at a special gala celebration before the show and during Intermission. McKinney North High School orchestra string students, under the expert direction of Margaret Brown, performed a “pre-show” in the lobby and in the auditorium, while other students dressed in concert black passed out fancy hors d’oeuvres and pink lemonade to the hundreds of delighted guests who came early for the special event at 6:30 p.m.

Emcee Lee Gary, widow of famous singer John Gary, introduced both the show and the pre-show, as well as thanking the many members, patrons, caterers to the stars, and more. Lee also spotlighted her fellow Board of Directors, particularly Cindi Garrett, who is the technical advisor and event manager for MCCA as well as Fine Arts educator at McKinney Boyd High School, who arranged for the Education Connection to become a reality.

The entire 2014-2015 season is being dedicated to MCCA Founder Lynette Weiss who passed away recently in McKinney. Lynette’s son, Rev. Harold C. Lowe, and his wife, Norma, of McKinney, were also honored at this tribute performance. Go to mckinneycommunityconcerts.org or call 214-548-4384 for more information.