Prescott has an abundance of cultural attractions which can easily compete with those found in larger metropolitan areas. Music is an important art form and our community is rich with talented musicians, both instrumental and vocal, who provide the best in entertainment. Its beautiful weather draws a wealth of others from across the country for annual outdoor music festivals.
The Arizona Philharmonic, led by Executive Director Henry Flurry, has brought a unique fusion of music genres as well as performance and venue sizes to Prescott’s lineup of music groups and programs. “Fridays with AZ Phil” are intimate chamber concerts held at the Elks Performing Arts Center, plus regular concerts with the entire philharmonic are performed at Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. AZ Phil is composed of musicians from all over the state.
The Camerata Singers
This is a smaller vocal ensemble performing for Prescott audiences, with 16 singers under the direction of James Klein. Camerata focuses primarily on classical repertoire, but the group’s musical flexibility enables it to present contemporary works, vocal jazz, spirituals, and lighter fare as well.
Central Arizona Concert Band
The Central Arizona Concert Band is another organization of talented musicians who perform at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Davis Auditorium. This symphonic concert band features over 60 musicians and a sound that fills the seats every time they perform with a tradition of presenting a large repertoire of exhilarating music. Conductor Clydene Dechert and the CACB celebrate their 18th year in the fall of 2020.
Since its inception six years ago, the Prescott Chorale has filled the house with every concert, singing compositions from the sacred to the sublime. Under the baton of Artistic Director Dennis Houser, audience members always enjoy diverse programs with an emphasis on masterworks and stunning performances by 60 gifted singers. For those who love the sound of vocals, this is a clear winner.
Prescott Pops Symphony
The Prescott Pops Symphony will soon present its 28th season, filling 1,100 seats at the beautiful Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. Maestro Joseph Place always produces an entertaining five-concert season filled with an inspired mix of movie themes, Broadway musicals, well-known classical works and other popular favorites. Adding musical voices to performances is Choir Director Darrell Rowader, who leads the Pops Choir with music from Broadway productions and classic holiday favorites.
Yavapai Symphony Association
Since 1964 this nonprofit has brought the Phoenix Symphony, Arizona State University Symphony Orchestra and other stellar ensembles to Prescott for the enjoyment of everyone in the county. Often including pre-concert talks and post-concert opportunities, these performances follow through on the group’s mission of expanding classical music appreciation and understanding throughout the region while funding music scholarships for local students.
LOCAL MUSICIANS & BANDS
5 in the Wheel
5 in the Wheel is a Prescott-based dance band. They specialize in new country and classic rock, providing a little something for everyone in the crowd. Their musical array is what makes this band a must-see, with old and new country classics to 70’s and 80’s rock with a bit of funk. This band can be different every time you see it play!
Sky “Daddy” Conwell plays “American” music. Style and genre is as diverse as America itself: Country, folk, acoustic rock, blues, rockabilly, jazz, Americana… the list goes on. He is in several bands including a surf band, classic rock band, and a Johnny Cash tribute band.
MacDougal Street West
MacDougal Street West: A Peter, Paul & Mary Experience began here in Prescott in June 2015, the band members consisting of Ron Skelton, Mary Alberts, Rick Shore and bassist William Rice. They perform throughout Arizona, California, Nevada, Iowa and other locales. Their third annual show at The Elks Theatre in downtown Prescott is coming this November 13, 2020. They continue regular five-night runs at Don’s Celebrity Theatre at the Riverside Resort in Laughlin, Nevada.
Sugar and the Mint
Sugar and the Mint’s spirited take on folk and bluegrass excites audiences across the country. The band synthesizes genres into a sparkling repertoire of original songs, balancing first-time singalong hooks with robust musicality. Sugar and the Mint’s unique vocal approach features complex, ethereal harmonies supporting accessible melodies. Informed by everything from bluegrass to baroque to current pop and neo-soul, the traditional blend of guitar, violin, mandolin and bass instrumentation is anything but standard-fare acoustic music.
Check websites or Facebook for updated information
Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza Summer Concert Series
Scheduled for select nights from
June 9 – Aug. 25, 2020
Yavapai County Prescott Courthouse Plaza, 120 S. Cortez St., Prescott prescottconcertseries.com; 928-443-5220
Prescott’s signature downtown summer concert series, with performances from 6-8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Enjoy jazz on Tuesdays, the Central Arizona Concert Band every third Thursday and live rock, blues or country music on select other nights in the ambiance of beautiful downtown Prescott. Bring your family, friends, chairs and/or blankets!
Prescott Bluegrass Festival Scheduled June 27 – 28, 2020
Yavapai County Prescott Courthouse Plaza, 120 S. Cortez St., Prescott www.prescottbluegrassfestival.com; 928-445-2000
The 39th annual Bluegrass Festival is a signature event for the community. The festival started as a fiddle contest dedicated to a local fiddler and has evolved into the only free festival of its caliber in the western U.S. Bands from the western United States perform during this two-day, free, family-friendly community event. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets to sit on the grass under the large shade trees of the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza!
Prescott Folk Music Festival Scheduled Oct. 3-4, 2020
Sharlot Hall Museum,
415 W. Gurley St., Prescott
Arizona’s longest-running folk music festival will celebrate its 42nd year in 2020, and feature musicians performing on four stages over two days. This premier event includes more than 100 performers, educational and informative workshops, and plenty of opportunities to jam on the beautiful grounds of Sharlot Hall — musicians of all ages and levels are encouraged to bring their instruments.
The Folk Sessions
www.folksessions.com or 89.5 FM radio
Where the finest musicians come to play. Broadcast throughout Central & Northern Arizona for 17 years on Prescott Public Radio, part of the Arizona Community Radio Network, The Folk Sessions has established a loyal following, producing quality radio programs and live concerts, including successful concert series at The Historic Elks Theater, Prescott Center for the Arts and The Highlands Center for Natural History. “When you turn on The Folk Sessions what you’ll hear is music with its roots in the stuff of real life” — FolkWaves