Library director Mike Kruse has a great assortment of musical acts lined up for the Batesville Memorial Public Library After Hours Concert Series.
Deciding what groups to include is "not easy," he says. "Over 15 seasons, we've had quite a few very talented musicians perform for us, and most of them ask to return. We like to hear some audience favorites again, and we also like to sprinkle in some bands we've never had before. It often depends on who is available on a date and at a price that works for us."
The family-friendly monthly programs usually last about two hours. They are funded through a combination of sources, including the library's programming budget, donations and occasional grants.
He encourages the public to attend because "you don't need to invest a lot, or anything really. Our after hours concerts are always free ... and they are a wonderful venue for hearing old favorites, new artists and different styles of music. You would have to pay to hear many of these artists if they were performing elsewhere. And you can come alone, with a date or friends or with your whole family.
"I'm looking forward to to completing the schedule for this year and, of course, ... seeing and hearing all the groups we have scheduled so far .... I'm especially looking forward to July 26 (please see box) when M.L. Liebler will bring his Beatles talk and concert to our library. That will be something new for us and should be very entertaining."
Kruse adds, "I really appreciate the support we've had for this series from the library board of trustees and the Friends of the Library, who have donated to it for many years. And I appreciate our faithful after hours concert audience, who seem to have a good time no matter if it's the first or fifth time they've heard a performer."
Diane Raver can be contacted at email@example.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.
BMPL After Hours Concert Series Five of 11 concerts (none in December) for 2014 have been booked. They are held at the library, 131 N. Walnut St., at 7 p.m. unless otherwise indicated. • Saturday, Jan. 25, Red Hot Whiskey Sippers. "This band is featured during the summertime on the deck at the Jazz Kitchen, Indianapolis. They play New Orleans-style jazz and funky tunes. Two of its players might be familiar to after hours concert-goers: Bill Lancton on guitar and Michael Beck on percussion," Kruse reveals. • Friday, March 14, Batesville Middle School Commons, two Batesville High School bands, The Sport Coat Jazz Explosion directed by Eric Stauffer and Batesville Steel directed by Leon Enneking. "We look forward to this concert every year, and we are always amazed at the talent exhibited by these student musicians," he says. • Saturday, April 19, Earplane. To celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month, the four-piece band from Bloomington and Indianapolis will play "original and cover tunes, all done in an easy-to-listen-to Brazilian style of jazz. Two members have appeared at the library in previous years: saxophonist Tom Clark and guitarist Peter Kienle. In addition, we're planning some special refreshments." • Friday, May 2, Planet D Nonet. "Kicking off a new spring festival (Sawdust Days) for our area, we've invited our favorite swing band from Detroit to return to the library .... The nine-piece group, headed up by drummer RJ Spangler, has played here twice before, and we can't wait for their return." • Saturday, July 26, M.L. Liebler. "We're featuring a special concert to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' first appearance in America. Detroit poet, Liebler, will bring a four-piece band with him to perform Beatles' songs and sing-alongs that will entertain all ages .... (He) will also give a fascinating talk that afternoon at the library about The Beatles, using some rare footage and audio .... We're also planning to have M.L. and some of his bandmates conduct a creative writing workshop at Oldenburg Franciscan Center Friday, July 25."