In its sixth concert of the season, the Golden Belt Community Concert Association will present the world-famous and much-loved classic American folk ensemble, the New Christy Minstrels. The concert is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Great Bend Municipal Auditorium. The concert is available to concert association members. Full-time students will be admitted for a $5 donation at the door. The auditorium, located at Lakin and Stone, will open at 6:30 p.m.
The New Christy Minstrels, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, made their national television debut on the Andy Williams Show. Since then, under the direction of Randy Sparks, the group’s many accomplishments have included Grammy awards, numerous gold records, and entertaining at the White House.
Sparks invented the big folk group concept and format in 1961. He actually sat down with a pen and a notebook and designed his dream band, a happy blending of the exuberance of the Kingston Trio with the choral harmony of the Norman Luboff Choir. In the years that followed, the popular folk ensemble opened the door for stars including Kenny Rogers, John Denver and Kim Carnes.
The New Christy Minstrels’ performances during the 2010-11 concert season feature Sparks joined by seven other performers in concert. Many in the audience will relive the peaceful times as well as the intense excitement of clapping and singing along with these seasoned professionals. The group recorded more than 20 albums and had hits including "Green, Green," "Saturday Night" and "Today." "Green, Green" sold one million copies in 1963 and was awarded a gold disc.
Still engaging audiences around the globe are Sparks and no less than three original New Christy Minstrels and several new ones. With all the old magic still there, the New Christy Minstrels are delighting fans and creating new ones in every performance.