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Local musicians and vocalists will be taking the stage at the Centene Center in Farmington this Friday and Saturday for its 17th year to perform some of pop music’s greatest hits at the Baby Boomer Reunion Concert.

Dr. Kevin White, organizer of the Baby Boomer Reunion Concert and music department chair at Mineral Area College, said the concert was first held to “break in” the newly-constructed Centene Center in 2003 and has continued to grow since then.

The first year of the concert, White said it was decided to perform the music of the band Chicago, as they have produced a great many hits that feature a variety of vocal parts and horn instrumentation. Only around one-third of the Centene Center’s seating was filled. In the weeks and months following the concert, White began receiving phone calls from folks asking that the concert return again. As interest in the concert and subsequent crowds grew over the years, White added two more performances.

“We don’t try to just ‘cover’ the tunes, we try to do them exactly like they would have been done as they came out, no matter the style or the performer,” he said. “Every single song is like an all-star group, the band switches up on every single song. It’s fast moving, it’s a lot of fun, the community loves it and it’s really a good time.”

The theme for this year’s performance is based on the phrase that everyone hopes to utter at any type of competition — “We’re Number 1!” This translates into a single-featured number one song from each year of the 30-year Baby Boomer era (1955-1984).

With plenty of songs to interest audience members of any age, White said the concert has begun to be known outside of the immediate area as people travel to Farmington for the annual show each year.

Clay Copeland, a vocalist who has performed at the concert for years, elaborated on how much he enjoys singing a solo at the event every year.

“For 11 or 12 years I have been in it,” he said. “The band is phenomenal. As a vocalist, the band is so good it makes my job so easy. It’s a fun show, it’s a great opportunity for the community to come together.

“I know there’s a lot of people that set their calendars every year, and this is a yearly event for them. The shows normally sell out within a couple of days.

“It’s called the Baby Boomer Reunion Concert because it seems like a reunion of people from all over the United States that comes in for this show every year. They have local ties, but they make that pilgrimage back to the Parkland to see this show. It’s a lot of fun with amazing professional musicians and vocalists.”

Copeland explained how the vocalists work in rotation so that all of the performers have the chance to be highlighted in the concert.

“Each vocalist gets a ‘feature song’ which is their solo song,” he said. “All of the vocalists sing backup and backup harmonies for other people on their featured song, so I will do five to seven songs, but only one will be my solo song. It’s fun for the audience, but fun for the performers too. The crowds are always great, are always into it, and that helps.”

The song list covers a wide range of musical genres and artists — from pop to country, from soul to movie themes; from Elvis Presley to The Police, from Marty Robbins to the Bee Gees, from the Ray Charles to Queen, from the Supremes to Hall & Oates … and many, many more.

Musicians who perform at Baby Boomer Reunion Concerts must be current area residents or from the area originally.

The three performances for this year’s show are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; as well as a Saturday afternoon matinee at 1 p.m.

Reserved tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at the Farmington Civic Center, by calling 573-756-0900, or ordering by phone.

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Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at mmarberry@farmingtonpressonline.com.

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