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Community Concert Star Power: The Texas Tenors come to GB
Concert Curiosities
Linda Jerke
Linda Jerke

When we were making plans for our 2017-18 concert season and hoping to find a way to increase our membership, the Golden Belt Community Concert board decided that adding some “star power” to our lineup might do the trick. We wanted one contemporary big-name performer or group that would attract new members for our association. We came up with several names to consider, then someone mentioned The Texas Tenors, and that brought heads up all around the table.

At first, we thought it would be just a dream, but believe it or not, with the help of our Allied Concert Services representative, the dream became a reality. We fervently believed The Texas Tenors, who were instantly transported to stardom after their debut in the 2009 season of America’s Got Talent, could give us the lift we needed. Of course, we knew their fee would be extraordinarily higher than the high-quality performers we would also acquire for the season. Thus, in order to afford The Texas Tenors, we simply reduced the number of concerts for that season to four, a break from the previous season’s six concerts. And the rest is history.

At the beginning of each season, we receive a tech rider from each of the groups we have booked, listing the items we will need to provide for their performance. We knew little about stars of The Texas Tenors’ caliber and what they would expect or require in addition to their overall fee.

We soon found out The Texas Tenors traveled light with their own instruments, but needed a long list of backline items, including a Yamaha keyboard, acoustic guitar with pickup, a drum kit, several other drums, cymbals, and three spotlights (one for each of them, we supposed), plus a longer list of accessories; for instance, bar stools of required height, guitar and cymbals stands, etc., all to the tune of many extra dollars.

As for their indoor climate requirements, we needed to negotiate. They wanted specific AC temperature settings for each area including stage, house, and lobby thermostats, which are nonexistent as is AC in our auditorium. We were fortunate to be hosting them in February, expected no big worries about the temps, and the Tenors came to agree with that.

Yes, we realized these musicians, who were accustomed to larger commercial venues, expected these accommodations and we amicably agreed to their terms when possible. This concert quickly became the most technically intensive and most costly concert we have had to date in our association’s 87 years of existence. 

Was all of the extra care and expense worth it? You bet it was! We deemed the concert a complete success. We considered this audience the largest in our long-term recent history with close to 1,000 enthusiastic fans.

The Texas Tenors were incomparable in their talent and performance. With country singer JC Fisher, classical singer Marcus Collins and opera singer John Hagen, you wouldn’t expect less. They showcased their wide-ranging talents in country, classical, Broadway and current pop music – from Bruno Mars to Puccini.

Musical favorites in their performance included “Desperado”; “Take Me Home, Country Roads”; Bruno Mars’ “Just the Way You Are”; the patriotic classic, “God Bless America”; and the Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” – just naming some of the many and varied pieces in their performance, plus their own originals, “RISE,” “I Don’t Want to Let You Go,” and “Bootdaddy.”

Perhaps most entertaining of all, though, was the rapport they held with the audience and the audience participation they brought out with the element of surprise. About midway through their performance, Marcus singled out a special lady, a longtime board member, who was celebrating her birthday. He surprised her by coming down from the stage, swooping her up and twirling her around in a celebratory way. Later on, I was startled when he snatched my cell phone out of my hand to use as a prop for one of his songs – all in fun, of course.

First-class performers in every way, The Texas Tenors have gone full speed up the ladder of celebrity since their stint on America’s Got Talent. They filmed their first PBS special with The Phoenix Symphony in 2013, and they also starred in their own PBS special. In 2014, they were honored with five Emmy Award nominations and three wins for their self-produced special.

Around the time of our 2017-2018 season when they performed here, they released their third studio album, “RISE,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Classical Albums chart. In 2018, their Collection of Broadway and American Classics debuted at #1 on the same chart and it spent 10 weeks in the top 10.

The Texas Tenors were inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame during the hall’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2022.

And The Texas Tenors graced us with their performance for our own Golden Belt Community Concert Association on Feb. 23, 2018, in Great Bend, KS.

Linda Jerke is 2nd vice president and publicity chair of the Golden Belt Community Concert Association. She served as Great Bend Tribune Localife Editor for 22 years and was a communications specialist in the Office of College Communications at Barton Community College for 17 years before her retirement in 2011. She can be contacted by email: