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Musical Mondays return to the library


There’s an electric quality to live music — an energy that fills body and being. And when children are exposed to it at an early age, it’s likely to stick with them throughout their lives.

This is the concept behind Musical Mondays — a collaborative program run jointly by InConcert Sierra and the Nevada County Library. Designed for children back in 2017, the idea was to bring an eclectic mix of musicians and styles to the Madelyn Helling Library in Nevada City during the summer. And now, after a two-year COVID absence, Musical Mondays are returning, offering a series of free outdoor concerts at the Marian E. Gallaher Amphitheatre adjacent to the library, beginning Monday, June 13, at 11 a.m.

According to Kirsti Powell, the orchestra manager for InConcert Sierra and the coordinator of Musical Mondays, “This is our chance to get new musicians. Hopefully to inspire kids to play music, to get involved with music. I try to program a variety of groups so kids are seeing and hearing a variety of instruments, including voice — giving them a wide range of experiences.”

If variety and versatility are keys to Musical Mondays, Beaucoup Chapeaux (Many Hats) is the perfect group to launch this year’s series. With Maggie McKaig on accordion, Luke Wilson on banjo and guitar, Murray Campbell on violin and oboe, Randy McKean and sax and clarinet, and all four doing vocals, they bring all kinds of music into play, including folk, country, bluegrass, classical, jazz and more.

Other groups on the docket this summer will feature brass, string and woodwind combos, as well harp solos. And Maggie McKaig will return in July with another one of her groups, Western Songbirds, when she and her two fellow singers, Sands Hall and Sally Ashcraft, engage in three-part harmony, accompanied by guitar and accordion.

Following a Musical Mondays concert with the Western Songbirds several years ago, Sands Hall wrote to InConcert to comment on the lively audience. “Perhaps my favorite moment was when the baby crawled right up on stage trying, it seemed, to crawl right inside the music. … What an utter joy!”

The 2022 Musical Mondays schedule includes the following six concerts:

June 13 – Beaucoup Chapeaux

June 20 – Brass Valley 5 – a brass quintet

June 27 – Trio Toccata – a string trio

July 11 – Western Songbirds

July 18 – Anne Merdinger, harp

July 25 – Windjammers – a woodwind quartet

Kirsti Powell said she always encourages groups to make their performances fun and kid-friendly. And while the programs are focused on children, they’ve turned out to attract all ages on the spectrum, making them intergenerational. Looking back to earlier years she recalls, “It was a pleasant surprise that we got older people to come to the concerts. And often, they didn’t even bring a child!”

Regardless of age, all members of the public are invited to bring along a chair or blanket to the library and prepare to be entertained this summer during musical Mondays, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon in June and July.

Source: InConcert Sierra


WHO: InConcert Sierra & the Nevada County Library

WHAT: Musical Mondays with Beaucoup Chapeaux

WHEN: Monday, June 13, at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Gallaher Amphitheatre at Madelyn Helling Library, Nevada City

MORE INFO: Geared to children, free for all ages. For more information on this concert and the rest of the Musical Mondays series, visit: http://www.inconcertsierra.org or call: 530-273-3990


People of all ages enjoy a Musical Mondays concert at the library.
Photo by Brett Bentley

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