Music on Mondays to return to Canby park

After a good reception last summer, the Canby Arts Council is bringing back its music series, which will feature swing, soul, country, polka and folk music.

The Canby Arts Council is again sponsoring Music on Mondays throughout the summer in Canby’s Central Park. All of the performances will begin at 7 p.m. If the weather is bad, performances will take place in Canby’s Community Center at City Hall with the exception of the June 9 concert, which would be moved to the gym at Canby High School.

“We had a lot of positive feedback,” said Ruth Ascher of the Canby Arts Council. “I think there’s a lot of anticipation about it.”

Ascher said the arts council did a survey last year at the end of the series to see what audience members would want. One of the comments was that they liked the variety of genres at the music series.

The schedule is:

June 9: The Swingtime Band of the Ortonville area. The group plays swing and big band music.

June 23: Smitty and the Sound from the Marshall area. This band features classic soul, R&B and Motown music.

July 7: Larry Olsen Polka Band of the Lake Benton area. The group has been popular for two decades around the area.

July 21: Charlie Roth and Jerry Ostensoe. The two artists have performed for years; Roth just returned from a tour of Scotland, and Ostensoe put out a new CD.

Aug. 4: Gloria Jean, county tribute artist. This act features music from Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline.

Aug. 18: Spotlight on area talent.

“I’m very pleased with all of them,” Ascher said about the musicians performing this summer.

Ascher said the Larry Olsen Band’s performance in July was a request.

“That was one of the things that people suggested was polka music,” Ascher said.

Another thing the survey found was that people want food at the concerts, Ascher said.

“People really appreciated having concessions,” Ascher said. Each performance will include meals at a set cost, from pulled pork sandwiches to walking tacos or hamburgers.

There was also an interest in having local talent featured in the music series, Ascher said. If someone wants to just perform one or two songs, the concert on Aug. 18 will be for those in the area wanting to get on the stage but don’t have a full show. Ascher said the arts council will encourage people throughout the summer to be part of the show, and so far, two musical acts have expressed interest.

Ascher said the arts council is helping with the renovations for the Canby Theater.

“We’ve dedicated a lot of energy toward that,” Ascher said about raising money for the theater renovation. The hope is to have some performing arts events at the theater as well, Ascher said.

Ascher said the arts council is encouraging people from around the region to come and visit Canby for the music series.

“We’ll be delighted to have them,” Ascher said.