Paonia Library hosts summer concert series

Photo submitted Opening week of the Paonia Library summer concert series started with rain as David Starr and special guest, Harry Harpoon, entertained the audience in between songs with references to thunder, lightning, and everyone's comfort level in a

David Starr. Shelly Rae. Beth Quist. These are just a few of the names that will take the stage this summer at Paonia Library's outdoor amphitheater. Beginning its sixth year, the summer concert series has gained local popularity as well as the interest of diverse performers countywide. The 2017 lineup is sure to attract audiences to the library on Tuesday evenings in June and July for great music in the great outdoors.

Paonia Library staff member Laura Lee Yates is the driving force behind the concert series. Yates has launched many popular programs for the Paonia Library, including the annual Armchair Travel Series, the recent geology talks and the music in the amphitheater. "The idea for the concert series started brewing when I wasn't getting enough music in my life," Yates explains. "So I starting thinking about how I could incorporate music into my work."

Yates reflects that the idea was forming as far back as the construction of the new library building in 2009 and is one of the reasons that an amphitheater was included in the plans. Since its inception, Yates has been the primary person to seek and schedule musicians for the concerts, gather information for publicity, and, of course, attend each performance.

"There are so many past highlights," Yates muses. "I'll never forget the North Fork Community Band marching in with David Alderdice in the lead and Jeanette Carey lugging the tuba; or hearing Helen Highwater singing indoors when the Scones got rained out; or the Marimba Project playing outdoors, despite the rain!"

"This year, I made it a goal to reach outside the North Fork and solicit some of the other amazing musicians of Delta County," Yates says. The series kicked off Tuesday, June 6, with Americana singer-songwriter David Starr, followed one week later by singer and yodeler Beth Williams. Returning veterans David and Tamara Hauze will bring glorious harmonies and a wide range of instrumentation on Tuesday, June 20. A Paonia Library newcomer, Shelly Rae, will bring powerful vocals and a blend of original and beloved songs on June 29.

"After a break for the Fourth of July, we'll resume on July 11 with a surprise appearance by a group that you won't want to miss," Yates declares. "You'll just have to take my word for it!" On July 18, Sarah Eller and David Snider will bring jazzy, rocky, gritty blues to the stage. The series will close with Beth Quist, a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and composer who, among many other notable accomplishments, has toured with Bobby McFerrin.

All seven concerts in the series start at 6:30 p.m. and are free to the public. The amphitheater offers bench seating and personal chairs or blankets are welcome, along with take-out and picnic dinners. For more information, visit Delta County Libraries' calendar of events at

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