There are so many talented musicians in Paonia that the likelihood of brushing shoulders with one, or several, during the course of a day is pretty high. They can be found in coffee shops, at job interviews, on playgrounds, and, luckily, in the library. Because of this, Paonia Library staff member Laura Lee Yates has a large pool of talent to explore when creating the lineup for the library's Music in the Amphitheater. Now in its fourth summer, the free music series features both repeat musicians and new talent.
"I had no trouble filling the schedule right away this year. I wanted to really mix it up. The harder part was tracking down photos of the musicians for advertising," Yates laughs. She had trouble even getting publicity from her own partner, Harry Harpoon, who will be playing with Justin Hess and George Lawhorn on Tuesday, July 19.
Photos aside, Yates has created a nicely varied schedule of performers, with the Marimba Project and the Scones still to come on July 12 and 26, respectively. Music events have already been taking place at the Paonia Library every Tuesday night in June at 6:30, with large groups of listeners gathering under shade awnings and children running around on the green grass. Library staff encourages attendees to bring a picnic dinner or takeout from local restaurants.
Friends of the Paonia Library are also onsite at each event to sell books and sweet treats baked by Sarah Jacobson. The Friends component is new to the lineup this year. Friends president Peggy Szvetecz explains, "[Friends treasurer] Judy Martin had the idea to do a book sale and snacks before the summer concerts, with the proceeds to go partly to the musicians and partly to the Paonia Library landscaping. The music has been a great program for the library and the landscaping committee can always use some money. We are proud of our library and this is another way to support it. Judy is the best idea person I know!"
As July progresses, the weather reports may call for more rain storms. Library staff members want to make it clear that events will take place even on rainy evenings, moving inside as the need arises. A recent performance with Ellen Stapenhorst proved that the indoor shows have their own character and are as enjoyable as those that take place outdoors. "The acoustics are superb," Yates assures.
From the North Fork Community Band marching in to play at the beginning of June, to the Scones sending the season out on a song at the end of July, members of the community can find entertainment and opportunities at this popular library event.