The term "library voice" takes on a new meaning this summer at York County libraries.
To compliment the summer learning challenge called Libraries Rock, the libraries are hosting a series of musical concerts.
Musical Interludes not only feeds the mind, it satiates the soul. With a lineup of genres from folk to jazz and instruments ranging from guitars and pianos to violins and oboes, the concerts offer a free, one-hour respite from the daily grind.
Singer/songwriter P.J. Brunson is one of Musical Interludes’ featured musicians. Known by many as the female James Taylor, she plays folk infused with a little country and she’s opened for legendary artists such as Nanci Griffith and Lyle Lovett.
Brunson grew up in the tail end of the coffee-house era, listening to music by Jim Croce, The Carpenters and Simon and Garfunkel. In her early teens, she learned to play guitar by watching a TV program.
“There was this lady on PBS every Wednesday about 5 or 6 (p.m.). She would come on for 30 minutes and teach a different finger-picking pattern in a folk song,” Brunson said. “I was hooked. I’d lock myself in my room and practice. My guitar was my best friend in junior high school – and it’s been my best friend ever since.”
Brunson kicked off the library’s concert series on June 16 with a performance at the Lake Wylie branch, and she will play again on July 18 at the Fort Mill branch at 5:30 p.m.
This project is made possible by a library services and technology act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the South Carolina State Library. Support for this project is provided by the Arts Council of York County Small Grants program, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of S.C. and the S.C. Arts Commission, which received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
York County Library marketing manager Stacy Williams said this is the first year for the concert series.
“Musical Interludes will allow the library to expand its services by offering arts and education programs,” Williams said. “Included at each concert will be an educational conversation about musical genres and opportunities for (residents) to check out library materials focused on arts and humanities.”
Classical guitarist Kenneth Blinko will perform June 27, 2 - 3 p.m. at the Lake Wylie branch and again July 19, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m., and July 25, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m., at the Fort Mill branch.
Blinko started lessons in the 1950s and returned to music after serving in the U.S. Navy. His greatest influence is finger-style guitarist Lenny Breau and he describes his own music as eclectic and romantic.
He said the Musical Interludes series will offer music from different styles and when music is heard live it makes a greater impression on the listener.
“It becomes visual as well as audio,” he said. “It adds another dimension to the art.”
Brunson believes music, art and literature have a power to shine a light on everyone’s shared humanity.
“Everyone has feelings, everyone has sorrow, everybody has pain and problems, but we also have joy and laughter,” she said. “I think songs, music, stories and art just capture that in a very compact form.”
Music Interludes is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.yclibrary.org or call 803-981-5864.
Stephanie Jadrnicek: firstname.lastname@example.org
June 23, 11 a.m., Leigh Ann Murdaugh-Hernandez
June 27, 2 p.m., Ken Blinko
July 14, 11 a.m., TBA
July 19, 6 p.m., Hannah and Levi Pendergrass and Chad High
June 22 and 29, July 20 and 27, noon, Students of downtown music lessons and more
July 18, 5:30 p.m., P.J. Brunson
July 19, 1:30 p.m., Ken Blinko
July 25, 5:30 p.m., Ken Blinko
July 26, 1 :30 p.m., Dorian Michael