The Mexican-Canadian band, Locarno, will perform in Richland on October 8 (courtesy Tom Landa, Cubbyhole Artists)

Tri-Cities nonprofit has produced over 350 concerts since 1944

In 1944, Richland Washington was a boom town, swelling with people who came to work on the government’s Hanford Site. The newcomers were hungry for culture, so a group of them organized a series of concerts featuring internationally touring performers. Their efforts were successful, and almost 80 years later, Community Concerts of the Tri-Cities continues to produce world-class concerts.

The first concert, in November 1944, featured the Don Cossack Choir, a men’s chorus of Russian immigrants. Other acts over the years included opera singer Leontyne Price, The Joffrey Ballet, Shanghai Acrobats & Magicians, the Vienna Boys Choir, and jazz pianist Marion McParland. Four or five concerts were produced each season, totaling more than 350 shows since 1944. The only gap in concerts was due to the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. 

Community Concerts of the Tri-Cities archives show the evolution of technology in the eight decades of its existence. The early files include carbon copies, penny postcards, and 3-digit phone numbers. More recent years involve e-mails, text messages, and electronic press kits. What hasn’t changed in 80 years is the devotion of the organization’s volunteers, and the enthusiasm that audiences have for high quality, live entertainment.

The 2023–2024 season kicks off in October 2023 and includes the following acts:

  • Locarno – 6-piece Latin band.(Sunday October 8, 2023, 2:00pm)
  • BYU Ballroom Dance Company – Brigham Young University’s premier dance troupe(Wednesday October 25, 2023, 7:30pm)
  • Sarah Hagen: Perk Up, Pianist! – Music and comedy(Monday February 5, 2024, 7:30pm)
  • The Black Market Trust – Five-man pop/jazz vocal group(Tuesday March 5, 2024, 7:30pm)
  • Rodney Marsalis Philadelphia Big Brass – America’s premier large brass ensemble(Thursday April 11, 2024, 7:30pm)

Community Concerts of the Tri-Cities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information, visit

Mary Hartman is a volunteer board member of Community Concerts of the Tri-Cities