2014-07-04 / Community

Library Links

Music, stories and science
By Rachel Davis

For many years, we’ve had a series of outdoor summer concerts at Thomas Memorial Library, which take place on the library’s front lawn. We schedule the concerts in the early evening and invite families to bring a picnic dinner and lawn chairs or blankets to sit on. This year, we have a mix of concerts specifically for families with young children, as well as a few for general audiences. Our first such concert is this coming Tuesday, July 8, when Belfast Brogue will perform pub-style Irish music. The duo is made up of Jud Caswell on vocals and a variety of instruments, including guitar, cittern and tin whistle, and Alfred Lund on vocals and percussion. Jud is known to many at Thomas Memorial Library for his monthly Musical Story Hour for children, which takes place on the first Thursday of every month at 10:30 a.m. He also appeared at the library with Alfred as Belfast Brogue a few years ago for an outdoor concert that ended up being moved indoors due to rain; a video from that concert is posted on our website, so be sure to check it out to get a little taste of Belfast Brogue. All are welcome at what should be a rousing summer concert.

The series continues with Annegret Baier performing “West African Rhythms and Songs” on Tuesday, July 15. Baier, who performed here last year as part of the band “Zulu Leprechauns” (and is also part of the well-known band Inanna) will play authentic hand drums from West Africa and a variety of traditional percussion instruments. The audience is invited to participate through singing, hand clapping and dancing. The show for all ages is fun as well as educational. Baier will return on Tuesday, Aug. 5 for an evening drumming workshop for adults and teens; advance registration for the workshop is required – you can register online at the library’s website (you don’t need to be a Cape Elizabeth resident in order to participate – all are welcome).

Coming up on Tuesday, July 22, we have children’s performer Danny Lion, also known as Dan Flannery, who is in town performing in Maine at a variety of venues (he lives in New York City.) Dan was here this past spring for a fantastic morning family concert, in which he had children and their parents dancing, singing and marching around the room in a parade. If you’re not familiar with Danny Lion, or his former band, the Flannery Brothers, we’ve got some of his terrific videos posted on our website, so be sure to check them out. Old fans and newcomers are sure to have a fabulous time singing and dancing with Dan.

Finally, On Tuesday, Aug. 12, we have the band fronted by Rob Duquette called, simply, “Duquette.” With Rob on vocals and guitar, the band plays an eclectic mix of rock and jazz, featuring original songs as well as covers. Many children and families are familiar with Rob from his monthly World Music program here at Thomas Memorial Library, which takes place on the third Thursday of every month at 10:30 a.m. Here audiences of all ages will get to enjoy Rob’s music of a different variety.

All outdoor concerts will take place on the library’s front lawn at 6:30 p.m. If the weather is nice, feel free to bring a picnic dinner and a blanket or lawn chair to sit on. If it rains, the concerts will be held in the library’s Community Room.

In addition to our outdoor summer concerts, we are pleased to bring back internationally renowned storyteller Odds Bodkin for a morning program at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 19. Odds was here for an exquisite performance of tales of the harvest back in November. We are very excited to have him back to perform “Summer Time Tales of Nature.” If you’ve never experienced Odds’ style of storytelling, I hope you will be able to join us. He uses guitar, Celtic harp and other instruments to provide not just musical accompaniment, but fantastic sound effects that make his stories truly come to life. He plans to share four very different nature stories in this summer’s hour-long family performance, suitable for all ages. If the weather permits, Odds will perform outside. This program replaces our regularly scheduled Saturday Family Story Time.

We also have our regular weekly children’s programs, including a story and craft program for 3- to 6-year-olds on Tuesday mornings at 10:30, and a Mad Scientist’s Laboratory for children ages 7 to 12 on Fridays at 11 a.m. Both of these weekly programs require advance registration in order to make sure we have enough materials for everyone (you can register online at our website.) A number of special children’s programs coming up in August also require advance registration. Mitch Mason from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will lead two different science programs for kids. He will lead an aerospace/ flight command workshop at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5 in which kids 8 to15 years old will create and fly an airplane and use scientific principles to control their flight. They will also play “Glider Golf” as part of the program. Then, at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19, Mason will offer “Playing with Polymers” for kids 6 to 15 years old, in which participants will use different household materials to create interesting new substances by changing their physical properties. Kids will make things like slime and glowworms – what could be more fun? We also have children’s book illustrator Robert Squier joining us at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12. Robert, who has illustrated a number of nonfiction titles about dinosaurs, a Greek mythology series, and a number of titles in the popular “Who Was” biography series, will show kids how an illustration evolves, from sketch to final art, talk about how he researches what he is going to draw. He’ll also do a live demonstration of a dinosaur drawing and give kids the opportunity to follow along on a drawing of their own. The program is for kids 7 to 12 years old, and like the two Mason programs, requires advance registration.

All programs at Thomas Memorial Library’s are free. They are also open to everyone whether you live in Cape Elizabeth, South Portland or beyond. You can find details about all our programs, as well as online registration forms where necessary, on our website, www.ThomasMemorialLibrary.org.

Rachel Davis is assistant director/children’s librarian at Thomas Memorial Library in Cape Elizabeth.

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