If love be the music of life

Born on the banks of a river that sings in any season and predated by a renowned conservatory, Appleton exhales music with every breath.

Notes wafting out from open windows, street corners and pavilions form the city’s welcome committee, inviting all comers to pull up a park bench and have a listen.

The heartbeat here is music and it pulses especially strong in the summer.

Some of the biggest regrets I have in the midst of my currently busy life are the musical performances I’ve had to decline. Happily, I don’t have to feel too sorry for myself because the opportunities I have had to listen to great music abound.

Last weekend, for instance, I gorged on live music that seemed to pop up everywhere I went.

It started Saturday morning at the Appleton Farmer’s Market where friendly, talented troubadours played on every block. One even invited people who enjoyed his music to pick up a tamborine and play along. On Sunday, I happened into a festival during one of our regular park runs.

Rise Fest, which raised money for the A.R.T.S., a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a positive outlet for teens and young adults through art and music and The Train Station, which gives them a space to do so, filled Pierce Park with music and great smelling food Sunday afternoon.

We wandered over from the playground and enjoyed two sets. That music felt like an extra treat on a lovely summer day.

Then, later Sunday afternoon, I met my mom and my sister Kathy at Waverly Beach to hear Unity the Band and that felt like the whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles and maraschino cherry on top of an unexpectedly sweet sundae.

I’m going to continue taking my live music opportunities as often as I can get them as this summer winds to a close, and being grateful for talented performers and the cool venues that host them.

If love be the music of life, play on!

I enjoy the street musicians at the Farmer’s Market, like the charming Lilie and..
…this guy whose name we did not catch but whose tamborine one of us did. Here’s the other thing about people willing to perform live, their music spirals out in unexpected ways. Who knows how many little people will grow up to have musical careers of their own because this gentleman lent them a tamborine one Saturday morning and asked them to play along?
We happily stumbled onto more live music the next day at Rise Fest.
We enjoyed Michael Grabner’s set.
And this one too! (We didn’t have a program and I didn’t catch her name.)
Later I met my mom and my sister Kathy at the newly renovated Waverly Beach for Unity the Band.
I was really happy to introduce Kathy to Pita because they’re both life lovers and cancer battlers with inspirational attitudes. We also ran into our step brother Tom…
…who took these pictures of Kathy and me dancing to a little reggae on a Sunday afternoon.
You might notice we’re the only ones up there. We didn’t care. We were just thrilled to be hearing great music in a cool venue. (Also, that dance floor got full during Unity’s second set.)
Tom took this picture too. I love the new Waverly Beach patio and I can’t wait to go back.

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