A Brief History
History and Legacy of the Williamsport Community Concert Association
The Williamsport Community Concert Association (WCCA) was established in 1928 in response to a growing population and budding arts and cultural scene in northcentral Pennsylvania. Since its founding, the WCCA provided a “source of pleasure, enrichment, and inspiration to area residents by providing an affordable annual series of outstanding performances by world-renowned musical artists.” The WCCA inaugurated an annual concert series that served to build Williamsport’s reputation as a place of significance because of the premier musicians and artists who performed in the city.
For generations, the WCCA partnered with the best performance spaces in Williamsport including the Ulman House, Majestic Theatre, the Scottish Rite, and most recently, the Community Arts Center to host its annual concert series of three to five performances. Long supported by dues and membership fees, concertgoers were afforded a musically diverse series of nationally and internationally renowned orchestras, symphonies, ensembles, choirs, soloists, and bands. At the heart of the organization was a desire to enrich lives and expose northcentral Pennsylvania to the musical and cultural performers traditionally available only to those in major urban areas.
In 1976, WCCA’s leadership had the foresight to establish an endowment to ensure the organization’s ability to offer premier concerts at a very fair price. For close to 50 years, the endowment served to supplement membership dues and enabled the WCCA to maintain the quality and character of its performances. It is this endowment that now serves as the ongoing legacy of the WCCA that provides permanent support for community concerts in Williamsport.
Today the Williamsport Community Concert Association Endowed Program Fund at Lycoming College provides concerts and guest performances every year to music lovers throughout the region.
WCCA Board Presidents and Leaders
Eight men and women guided the Williamsport Community Concert Association over the course of its existence. Their leadership and dedication to the organization stands as a lasting tribute that continues to be reflected in the cultural life of Williamsport.
1928 – Upon formation, organizers named an executive committee to conduct the group’s activities. Mr. Oliver J. Decker, appointed chairman of the committee, was then the first chief officer.
1935 – A story published September 8, 1935, identifies Mr. McCormick as Association president.
1937 – Mrs. Eaton N. Frisbie succeeded Mr. McCormick as president.
1957 – C. Stewart Coryell is elected as Mrs. Frisbie’s successor.
1962 – C. Stewart Coryell resigned, and William H. Askey is named president.
1968 – Terry Ziegler was elected president, serving a total of 44 years on the board until his death.
2002 – Dale V. Bower was asked to become president and served for 10 years.
2013-2021 – Cynthia Staiman became president. During her tenure, four individuals were honored as emeritus board members: Dale Bower, Jane Landon, James Rogers, and Marvin Staiman. Cynthia Staiman, along with her fellow board members, stewarded the WCCA’s endowment to Lycoming College, and in so doing, preserved the organization’s legacy of offering premier concerts to the greater Williamsport community.