Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


               Not long after I settled in as the senior pastor of the Ripon Free Methodist Church back in late 1998, I met Jeannie Rudd, the president of the Ripon Chamber of Commerce. At that time the Chamber offices were located in the building which became the Veterans Museum quite a few years ago. Jeannie recommended that I be considered for the position as a board member for the Ripon Arts League (RAL). Jeannie was (and still is) an RAL board member. I was subsequently selected and have served in this capacity ever since.

The RAL began in the early 1990s with the specific mission of bringing quality, affordable musical entertainment to Ripon. This group of volunteers from our fair town plans a five concert series every year on what could only be described as a “shoestring budget.” Joe O’Leary and Joe den Hollander were two of the original visionaries sensed what the RAL could become. Though these luminaries have since retired from their duties on the board of the RAL, there influence is still very much felt in the manner in which we all carry out our respective responsibilities.

Our new season for 2015-16 is about to begin. Thursday, September 17 is our first concert with classical guitarist Terrence Farrell taking the stage at 7:30 PM in the Ripon High School Multi-Purpose Room, which is where we host almost all of our performances. The evening runs just short of two hours which includes a 15-20 minute break for coffee, punch and cookies which is all part of the price of admission. Did I mention price?

You simply cannot beat the deal we offer. For a season pass to all five concerts you pay only $30. Break that down and you’re paying $6 per concert which includes the aforementioned goodies during intermission.

Our second concert this year will be Joni Morris bringing her tribute to the Legendary Ladies of Country Music. If you were a fan of Patsy Cline, then Joni is her vocal twin. Joni performs on Thursday, October 15 at 7:30 at the Ripon High Multi-Purpose Room. Our third concert is the very hip and slick jazz group known as Cell Block 7. They will be with us on Thursday, November 12.

We don’t schedule concerts later than mid-November because of the activities surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

Into the New Year, out next performance is Tuesday, January 26. On this night we will be hosting the Big Band sound of the Valley Concert Band. These guys bring it all! You’ll be tapping your toes and wanting to get up and dance the jitter-bug by the time the first song is over. Our fifth and final concert for the year is Thursday, March 10. The musical group for that evening brings vocal music variety. They are called Home Grown.

Whatever is your style and taste in music, the RAL attempts to line up musical entertainment that will please the folks who have come to appreciate these programs each year.

If this sounds like something that is up your alley, then by all means, call Kit Oase, our board president, (209-599-3408) and he’ll get you connected to the right folks to process your membership. Plus you could introduce the young people in your life to some classic music.

Our concert schedule is already planned for the 2016-17 year and it looks to be a great line up.

And why not consider buying a $30 membership for a family member or friend? It would make for a great gift.

Since I run sound and lights, I’ll be looking for you!

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