Wilmington Concert Association to disband in May

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A longstanding local music group is calling it quits.

After nearly nine decades of presenting area performances, the Wilmington Concert Association has announced it will dissolve on May 31.

According to a release from the association’s president Dean Gattone, the organization’s board of directors agreed on April 19 to disband.

“The decision was made reluctantly, but due to the number of competing organizations that have formed since the beginning of the Wilmington Concert Association it has been difficult to raise funds and attract audiences, despite the high quality of concerts presented,” Gattone said.

Formed in 1929, the Wilmington Concert Association has regularly produced several performances each year, most held in recent years at UNC-Wilmington’s Kenan Auditorium. The organization has been behind big name international acts, such as the Russian Ballet, the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Emanuel Ax, coming to the area.

Its last concert was jazz pianist Mary Louise Knutson in March.

Gattone said the Wilmington Concert Association plans to donate remaining funds in its coffers to the Cape Fear Community College Foundation in support of the college’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center.

“The support of audience members, donors and sponsors over the years has been greatly appreciated,” Gattone said. “The association could not have been sustained for so many years without this wonderful generosity.”