Don’t forget to read Part One!
History of the Mid-West Quartet Association (Part One)
1996 until 1999
Written by Dan Whitman, 1995; edited and updated by Louie Brown
In 1996, improvements continued with two special people hired to help out with the Convention: Jerry Goff, a well-known emcee, and Steve Hurst, a fantastic vocal instructor. The Board of Directors continues to search for ways we can encourage and provide for the members of MWQA. Then they can continue and sing to the Lord in their ministries to others.
1997 was another major change for the Mid-West Quartet Association. We outgrew the Bloomington Assembly of God building and searched for two years for a new “Home Base”. Just as the first two buildings were major difficulties to decide on, so was this choice.
We prayed about it, struggled, and worked very hard to determine God’s will for our organization. The direction came through loud and clear to us. We moved to the Rochester, Minnesota, Mayo Civic Center Auditorium in October of 1997!! This facility provided a more central location for the region we represent. It provided a much larger facility with exhibit areas and meeting rooms. Ample hotel and motel spaces were available with free parking, most connected with a climate-proof skyway system. There is good expansion room for the future. Rochester, Minnesota, is our meeting place until the Lord calls us to “move on” to someplace else.
We have continued bringing in professional people from across the country to help make our Convention a celebration for Jesus and the unity MWQA has in Him. Dick Hilleary has emceed our Convention for four years, 1997 through 2000. Steve Hurst has continued to teach and encourage our groups through his private vocal sessions each year. For 1998 and 1999, we added a very special lady to the seminar staff Tracey Phillips Cooper. She gave piano and keyboard sessions to many of the group musicians and some people from the general public.
We struggled with the expense of video and sound. We even ended up as we had been in the beginning of the Association to accept loans from the Board members to assure the program could go on. For 1999, the video portion of the Convention was dropped. The people have accepted this change well, and we thank the Lord for the financial relief. Concessions were added after a bad experience of 3800 hungry people in 1997.
1999 was a catch-up year financially and a year of real expansion internally. We established a web site, go the bulk mail system working, and established a good system for tickets, treasury, and expanded the promotion and the Directory. The boom-box showcase started, and we began a relationship with Danny Rhoads Music for sound. Danny was well accepted as the “Best we ever had” for stage and house mix. The attendance was up a little, and we had 120 people for breakfast! This was all in preparation for the 10-Year Celebration!
For the grandest Convention of them all, we will start on Thursday evening, October 26,2000, with a concert in the MCC Theatre with the Dixie Melody Boys. Along with that concert, we will honor emcees of the past, past Board members, and just enjoy celebration of the 10 great years we have bad.
Friday will begin with a huge breakfast with Dick Hilleary and Steve Hurst. This event has really grown in popularity thanks to Shelly Brown’s hard work and love of the Lord. The breakfast will end with a concert and then flow right into four showcase concerts with our member groups. The singing starts at 3:00 p.m. and will fill the air until 10:30 p.m.
Saturday will begin with the MWQA Annual Meeting and move right into singing again from 12:00 noon until 10:00 at night. Dan Whitman, Dennis Hafenbreadl, Chad Jones, Beverly White Birch, and many others will be there throughout the day and weekend for this great time. We are so blessed to be in the service of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. May the praise go on forever and ever through this Association and all the 38 member groups!