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!