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Boulder Library Concert Series

October 10, 2019
Audience
Adult
Children / Family
Older Adults / Seniors
Tweens and Teens
Urban
Budget
$5,000+
Advance Planning

Muscians submit proposals, which we review for future concert programming, and concerts are then scheduled 6 to 12 months in advance. It is our aim to reach individuals in our community and engage them in diverse musical offerings and opportunities.

Typically, the library pays our performers between $0 and $200. Staff considers material needs, size of audience and relevance to mission in negotiating fees. Due to limited financial resources, out-of-state presenters are rarely booked. 

Marketing

The Boulder Library Concert Series has been presenting quality concert programming for the past 43 years, and the series draws many due to its well established reputation. This said, we strive to get the word out to everyone in the community by means of our library newsletter, e-blasts and listings in many online calendars. 

Budget Details

The Boulder Library Foundation generously funds our Concert Series. Our annual budget falls between $30,000 and $35,000 and includes musician fees, piano tuning and theater equipment. 

Day-of-event Activity

The Library Concert Series is run by Juliette Leon Bartsch, BPL's concerts presenter for more than 20 years. Juliette opens the theater and sets the stage, lights and sound equipment necessary for the performance. Musicians arrive and rehearse, and we do a sound check.

Prior to the performance the audience is welcomed and introductions are made. The performance itself is typically 60 to 90 minutes, and the audience is often invited to participate in some way.

Following the performance, audience members are invited to meet the performers. Afterward the theater is cleared and closed.

  
Program Execution

We present over 60 Sunday afternoon concerts, Midday Music Meditations, Third Tuesday Lunchtime Concerts, an annual Holiday Harp Concert, workshops and lectures each year. The feedback we receive informs our future programming and is typically glowing — acknowledging the importance of quality programming that is free and accessible to all. (An example of this feedback is under Attachments at right.)

The success of the Boulder Library Concert Series is reflected in a number of ways. The community partnerships that have been established and strengthened through the years are remarkable. Our Concert Series presents numerous University of Colorado faculty and student performances each year — alongside annual programming featuring the Boulder Bach Festival, MahlerFest, Boulder Philharmonic, Colorado Chamber Players, members of Takacs String Quartet, Now or Never Theater Co., 3rd Law Dance Co., Boulder Ballet and many other local organizations.

In addition, we offer several Sensory Friendly performances throughout the year. Our Sensory Friendly concerts feature individuals on the autism spectrum and are intended to engage audience members to connect and engage in music. Videos of many of our concerts can be found here

Advice

Our series began with a sprinkling of concerts each year and, over time, grew to offer consistent programming. Over the past two decades our music programming has tripled in our offerings!

It was good to create a solid Concert Series that took place on Sunday afternoons and then expand to trying other days of the week and times. Our Third Tuesday Lunchtime Concert Series was launched 15 years ago and began with small audiences that increased over the years. By word of mouth and library newsletter promotion, our lunchtime concerts became the popular series it is now — typically drawing 150 to 200 concert-goers for every performance.

We also listened to what our patrons wanted in addition to typical concert performances and what our community craved: meditative musical experiences. This request grew into what is now our popular Midday Music Meditation, involving up to eight musicians improvising and creating a unique musical soundscape that is perfect for meditating, reading or knitting!

 
Short Title
Boulder Library Concert Series

Music is a powerful connecting force in Boulder, and our library's Concert Series has become a symbol of quality programming in our community. Featuring highly accomplished local to international musicians, our free concerts offer something for every taste: reflective meditations, lively jazz performances, inspiring string quartets and more.

We welcome patrons of all ages to experience live performances throughout the year. Concerts take place in our 200-seat Canyon Theater, which typically fills to capacity.

Job Functions
Resources and Program Starters
Collaborations
Program Date
12-01-2019
  • Harpists on stage
    Holiday Harps program
  • Children onstage singing
    Action Boulder Children's Chorale
  • A band on stage performing
    A full house catching a performance
  • A band sitting on the stage floor performing
    A concert in the Midday Music series
  • Man strumming guitar
    Nicolo playing the guitar
Summary

The Boulder Public Library's Concert Series packs the 200-seat Canyon Theater with free shows throughout the year.

Comments:
Programming Librarian Forum