Area Lettermen concert outselling expectations

The annual Oldies Fundraising Concert for the Tyrone-Snyder Township Public Library has brought excitement and quality acts to Tyrone for 12 years.

Next year’s show, however, has caused a bit more excitement than the concert committee had expected.

The 2014 fundraiser will bring The Lettermen to the Tyrone Area High School auditorium on May 3. Their appearance has led to a deluge of tickets being purchased. More than 750 of the 1,100 seats have already been sold.

“Since The Lettermen posted [the concert] on their web page, tickets have been selling tremendously,” said Chuck Banas, the concert organizer. “We are getting calls every day from out-of-the-area ticket purchasers. We fully anticipate this show to be sold out before the end of September, if not before.”

The concert committee is trying to let people know that tickets are going fast.

“In years past, we waited until November to sell tickets. The Lettermen posting it on their web site changed everything,” Banas said.

The Lettermen formed in 1959 and had their first big hit with a new version of the pop standard “The Way You Look Tonight.” They proved adept at using their three-part harmony to update pop standards, getting big hits from versions of “When I Fall in Love,” “Theme From A Summer Place,” “Put Your Head On My Shoulder” and a medley of “Goin’ Out of My Head” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”

The group has been touring in one form or another since their formation, with co-founder Tony Butala being the constant member. They were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame – an institution that Butala founded in his hometown of Sharon, Pa., in 1998 – in 2001.

Currently, the group is made up of Butala, Donovan Tea (a member since 1984) and Bobby Poynton (a member off and on since 1988).

“We had no idea that this was to be this hot a ticket,” Banas said. “It’s beyond our wildest dreams, for sure.”

Tickets for the show are $35 per person. Tickets can be purchased at Bressler Food Mart & Sports and Kopp Drug located in Tyrone, the Tyrone-Snyder Township Public Library in downtown Tyrone and Thompson Pharmacy on Broad Avenue in Altoona Mastercard and Visa are accepted only at the library in or by calling the ticket hotline number at 682-1017.