Artsbridge’s winter concerts reverberating at Grand Central Mall
VIENNA — From the sounds of the season to the music of the Mid-Ohio Valley, the new Artsbridge Winter Music Series at the Mall is providing local residents with a chance to get out this winter and listen to a variety of different musicians.
Artsbridge Program Director Diane McDonald said they were approached around Mother’s Day, during an art event at Grand Central Mall, by an employee of the mall who told them she enjoyed the Summer Music series at City Park and how there were so few things to do in the winter time.
“She said it would be great to do music at the mall,” McDonald said. “We thought that would be a great idea.”
Artsbridge got the necessary approvals from the mall, which also is helping them promote it and providing seating for people, and lined up the groups. It started Dec. 8 with a performance by the Waterford School Bands.
Since then the other groups to perform included Marietta High Choir’s Vocal Point, Tom Roddey and Plan B. Sunday’s performance featured Buck McCumbers & Company.
Upcoming acts include the Parkersburg South High School Choir on Jan 12, bluegrass group the Sheppard Brothers on Jan. 19, the gospel/doo-wop group Once-A-Chord A Cappella Quartet on Jan. 26, Britain performing songs from the 60s on Feb. 2, solo acoustic guitar player Brady Young on Feb. 9, classic rock performer Henrie Lane on Feb. 16 and the PSHS Jazz Ensemble on Feb. 23.
The performances are in the mall’s center court from 2-3 p.m., outside the H&M store.
“We had a slow start, but we are growing and we are getting more and more people coming to the concerts,” McDonald said, adding they are averaging around 50-60 people. “People also have stopped to listen while they are walking through the mall.
“They stop along the sides, listen to a few songs and go on.”
This series has been really good in promoting and showcasing local high school bands and choirs while schools are in session, she said. Other artists in the series are regular participants in the Summer Music Series at City Park.
The series is another chance for people to see what kind of talent is available locally in this area. McDonald said.
“There is a lot of great local talent,” she said. “The musicians say they love doing it.”
McDonald said they will be looking to growing the series next year with possible offerings that would appeal to younger people and others.
Right now, the reception has been great from the public.
“Everybody who has come loves it and they have been telling their friends,” McDonald said. “We put out the announcements on our Facebook page and people are constantly sharing them.”
Sandy Perrine, of Wood County, said it was her love of bluegrass music that brought her out Sunday to see Buck McCumbers & Company. She heard about the concerts through the newspaper and online as another performer sent out notices to their fans online telling them about an upcoming performance.
“I think it is great,” Perrine said. “It is a good way to get people to come out, especially during the winter when there isn’t much going on.
“It is a nice way to introduce the different music groups to people who are familiar with them.”
The concert is free, but they take donations to help support the various arts programs Artsbridge has going on in the area.
“With the more concerts we have and the more people know we are here, hopefully we get the big crowds like we do at the park,” McDonald said. “It is a great time during the dreary winter Sundays when people don’t have anything to do to come out and enjoy some free music.”
Brett Dunlap can be reached at email@example.com