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Music on Mondays in March makes a melodious preview to summer's Music on the Steps program

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Date published: 3/12/2009


Thank a lucky scheduling coincidence for Music on Mondays in March. It all started in December when Central Rappahannock Regional Library program coordinator Linda Baer was looking for an opening at the theater for a band to play.

"I saw there was a Monday night, and the more I looked through the schedule, I noticed that only Mondays were available--in fact, four Mondays in a row--and it came to me: Music on Mondays in March," she said, heavily enunciating the M's.

Baer jokes that she is finally giving Fredericksburg what it has always clamored for: an extension of the library's popular Music on the Steps program.

That program, free and open to the public every Monday from June to August, invites local musicians to play a casual hour-long concert on the library steps.

"People absolutely mob Music on the Steps," Baer said. "People bring picnic baskets and lawn chairs, little kids dance to the songs. It's just one hour, so it's still light outside when it ends and you can go do something else, or have done something before you came."

Baer said she has run the program since "before we gave musicians bottled water and instead gave them glasses of water"--for 23 years. She even collects stories that show people's devotion to the program.

"There's only ever been one time that a band had to cancel, so I went outside and tried to tell people before they walked all the way across the parking lot (it was a parking lot instead of a garden back before the renovation--hard to imagine).

"One man I tried to stop said, 'I came all the way into town for this, I want to hear some music!'

"And I said, 'I'm sorry, the lead singer is really sick.' And he's getting mad saying, 'I want to hear some music!'

"And I say," she composes herself into a perfectly straight face, "'I guess I'll just have to give you your money back.' And then we both start laughing and he says, 'I'm sorry, I'm just frustrated.'"

"People always want more of it. In summer, people are always saying, 'Why don't you have Music on the Steps in September?'" she said.

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What: Music on Mondays in March Where: CRRL Headquarters Theater, 1201 Caroline St. When: March 16 (Driftwood Fire--Appalachian bluegrass and jazz), March 23 (Sean Harris--classical folk and rock) and March 30 (Fredericksburg Saxophone Quartet--classical to jazz). All concerts run 7-8 p.m. Cost: Free Info: 540/372-1144, arts point.org