CARROLL Live On Stage has closed the doors

Carroll Live On Stage (Carroll County Community Concert Association) has been providing the Carroll County region for 31 years.
Thank You to all that have been associated with and attended  Carroll Live On Stage presentations.
Continue to enjoy “LIVE” music at  the following venues.
Gettysburg Community Concert Association
Hagerstown Community Concert Association
Waynesboro Community Concert Association 

 

Reprinted from the CARROLL COUNTY TIMES
  • curtain call

Musician Jim Witter will perform the songs of Barry Manilow at Carroll Live on Stage’s final concert.

By Jacob deNobel Carroll County Times

It could be magic Saturday, March 18, when Jim Witter sits down behind the piano and performs the best hits of singer/ songwriter Barry Manilow at Carroll Live on Stage’s final concert of the season. Witter will take audiences on a tour through Manilow’s hits of the 1970s and early ‘80s, while providing a visual tour through the artist’s career with facts about the man and his songs appearing behind the performer on stage. Though today Witter is best known as a performer of the songs of Manilow, Billy Joel and Elton John, he first got his start as a singer/songwriter of his own. “The only thing I ever thought about or dreamed about or wanted to do since I was a little kid was be a musician,” Witter said. “I started probably thinking seriously about making a career in music when I was in high school.” Witter began performing in clubs and piano bars throughout Canada, before being spotted for a record deal at 24. Witter cut several albums in Canada and Nashville, charting several Canadian country hits before realizing he wanted to move onto the next step of his career. In 2001, he said, he wanted to continue to perform live music, but was looking out of his current record deal because he wanted to expand his reach. While trying to plan out the transition, he said he came up with the idea for “The Piano Men” a journey through the careers of Billy Joel and Elton John set to visuals of the 1970’s. “I expected to do that for maybe a year and then peter out, but these nostalgic shows just started taking off,” Witter said. “I literally haven’t stopped for the past 16 years.” Recently, Witter developed the Barry Manilow show “I Write the Songs” as a supplement to “The Piano Men” concerts. He said the idea developed due to audience requests following “Piano Men” performances. Witter said it’s both exciting and nerve-wracking to perform music as well known as the hits from these ‘70’s giants. “This is the music I learned to play the piano on; I literally listened to them in my late teens when I was learning to play the piano,” Witter said. “On the other hand, even though these songs aren’t sacred, you want to do them justice and preserve the original arrangements and the integrity of these songs. It’s a challenge as a band and as a singer to do them in the best possible light I can.” The finale of the show, will however, be a slightly bittersweet one, as it represents the final concert for Carroll Live on Stage, a concert organization that has been an institution in the area for more than 30 years. This month, the group announced they were closing their doors and that the final concert by Jim Witter would be their last. According to President Paul Hastmann, the decision was made due to both a lack of funds and interest in the shows and sponsorships as well as a decline in volunteers to help run the organization’s board. Despite the closure of Carroll Live on Stage, Witter promises his show will be an uplifting and fun evening for all attendees. “I’m not out there to wow an audience, my goal is to take them back in time and forget the troubles of the day,” Witter said. “Maybe they had a bad week at work, and maybe something is going on in their lives. This music takes us back, makes us forget the present and takes us to the past, even if it’s just for a few hours.”

jacob.denobel@carrollcountytimes.com

410-857-7890

Twitter.com/Jacob_deNobel

 

 

Carroll Live on Stage prepares for its final act

After three decades, slipping attendance and funds feed into decision to close

By Jacob deNobel Carroll County Times

After three decades, slipping attendance and funds feed into decision to close

By Jacob deNobel

Carroll County Times

 Carroll Live on Stage has been a county institution for more than three decades. Now, after 31 years and about 100 concerts, the organization is closing its doors after a final show at Westminster High School, March 18.

According to Paul Hastmann, president of the group, the decision to dissolve Carroll Live on Stage has been considered for about the past two years. He said declining attendance and funds, coupled with a lack of volunteers for board positions, have led to future seasons becoming untenable for the organizers who remain.

Saturday, March 18, when Jim Witter takes the stage, it will be the last show for the organization, which was founded in 1986 as an outfit to introduce musical entertainment to the county. According to the group’s history, its initial season saw more than 1,300 people subscribe to the four-show1986-1987 lineup.

In recent years, Hastmann said, subscriber counts and attendance have dropped. The group’s last concert, featuring country musician Victoria Banks, saw 366 attendees, a decent turnout for the recent era, according to Hastmann.

Though financial difficulties factored into the decision to close, a larger factor, Hastmann said, was the decline in volunteers to serve on the board and fulfill other roles. The charter for the group states that the board cannot consist of more than 22 members and no fewer than 12. Hastmann said with recent deaths and retirement, they were looking at dropping below the number of people that putting on shows of this scale requires. He said it’s difficult to put together shows with the 17 board members they currently have. Trying to do it with any less would be impossible, he said. “The money isn’t the key driving force,” Hastmann said. “It was the loss of valued, experienced, knowledgeable, dedicated board members who dedicate their private time and effort and energy to serve the community.” Hastmann said he’s seen this trend in community organizations nationwide; as organizers age, their roles are not being filled with younger volunteers.

For the past 10 years, Linda Humbert has served as the recording secretary for the group and together with her husband was in charge of hospitality, arranging hot meals for the entertainers before the concert. She said they’ve been anticipating the closure for the past couple of years.

“We have trouble getting new people and younger people involved. It’s just the changing times, I guess,” Humbert said. “I’m excited to have another show and disappointed someone else isn’t going to be able to carry on that kind of entertainment.”

Throughout its history, the group has featured performers such as The Dukes of Dixieland, the Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats, Hal Linden, The Diamonds, John Davidson and The Fabulous Hubcaps.

Sandy Oxx, director of the Carroll County Arts Council which provided CarrollLiveonStage with grants throughout its history, said she was sad to hear the organization was coming to an end.

“They have brought quality entertainment to Carroll for decades, and I credit their organization for inspiring interest in the arts, eventually benefiting us,” Oxx said. “I’m hoping that the hole left by their departure will inspire other residents in our community to pick up the torch.”

Following the dissolution of the group, Hastmann said its remaining assets will be distributed to a nonprofit with a similar purpose to Carroll Live on Stage. Though he said he was sad about the closing, he is also looking forward to the final show with Witter, who will be performing the music of Barry Manilow.

“We’re going to go about our business and not dwell on the negative,” Hastmann said. “I’m going to continue to do everything I can to make the Live on Stage experience a positive one all the way to the end.