Concert to reinvigorate youth concert association

By DAN FELDNER

Staff Writer

dfeldner@minotdailynews.com

A nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the youth of Minot high-quality entertainment is taking a step toward its goals with a benefit concert to fund future endeavors.

“Acquire the Fire” will take place Friday in the auditorium of Minot High School-Central Campus.

“Basically the Greater Minot Youth Concert Association is making a comeback,” said Dan Hansen, a local music promoter who is involved in several charitable events every year in the Magic City.

Hansen said the GMYCA was founded around 15 years ago to help bring bigger musical acts to Minot. Some of the bands that played here include Newsboys, a Christian pop rock band from Australia, TobyMac, a Christian recording artist, and Brian Welch, a co-founder of American metal band Korn.

“Basically they just formed to bring concerts to town and give kids and really everyone something to do,” Hansen said.

The Greater Minot Youth Concert Association has been less active in recent years. Hansen said they are looking to change that, and this concert will help raise much-needed funds to bring in bigger acts down the road.

“We’re trying to get it back on its feet,” Hansen said. “Get the ball rolling again to bring concerts into Minot more consistently.”

Acts playing Friday include Canadian Christian rock band Manic Drive and Canadian speaker Kemtal Glasgow.

Headlining “Acquire the Fire” is Acquire the Fire LIVE, which is a Christian band. On its website, Acquire the Fire LIVE describes itself as not just a band, but a movement of equipping and mobilizing young worship leaders and musicians all across the country.

“It’s (Acquire the Fire) like a nationally known conference, a traveling conference and they have great speakers and things like that,” Hansen said.

Looking to the future, in the fall of 2014 Hansen said they have booked a major band from Atlantic Records, Switchfoot, a Grammy and Dove award winning alternative rock band from San Diego that has sold more than 5 million records. Switchfoot will appear Sept. 23, 2014, at Minot State University to help MSU celebrate its 100th anniversary and kick off homecoming week.

“We’re just basically building up to the big show and then once we get through the big show we’ll try to be more consistent with shows like that,” Hansen said.

Jason Olson, chief of the Minot Police Department and president of the GMYCA, said the association was started by Gary Keller and his son Josh. During their time with the GMYCA, the Kellers helped bring a number of bands to Minot to perform at sold-out shows at the Minot Municipal Auditorium,

“Several years ago Gary and Josh moved away from the Minot area, leaving a couple of core board members of GMYCA to decide its future,” Olson said. “As an organization, it has been kept alive with hopes of reviving its original purpose and stature in the community.”

Olson said he has been involved with the GMYCA for a number of years. He was teaming up with a South Dakota organization called Lifelight to bring a concert tour to Minot headlined by Brian Welch, the co-founder of Korn, when he got together with the GMYCA and put on a very successful event.

“Since that time the GMYCA has been involved in sponsoring a couple of smaller shows in Minot including Spoken and Family Force Five,” Olson said. “GMYCA is kind of in a holding pattern waiting to really get involved in a larger role again by bringing in some more well-known artists.”

Olson said it has been a little more difficult finding good venues for larger shows since the Souris River flood of 2011, especially considering the Minot Municipal Auditorium had to be used by Erik Ramstad Middle School.

“With the new school almost ready it is anticipated that we could bring in a show there in the spring of 2014,” Olson said.

Recently, the GMYCA has added some new board members that Olson said have brought renewed energy and enthusiasm to get some events going again. He noted people like Hansen have added some fresh ideas to the group.

“GMYCA is in the process of rebranding its name and image to Minot to continue to bring live concerts that are positive in nature to our community,” Olson said. “There is a need and hunger for entertainment in a drug- and alcohol-free atmosphere where people can come and enjoy great music with positive messages of hope.”