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Music by the Lake kickoff provides relaxing evening of music

July 10, 2005|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

A tapping foot here, a bobbing head there and polite applause after each song indicated the kind of evening concertgoers were looking for - a relaxing evening at City Park.

"I live one block away," Hagerstown resident Joyce Martin said. "The fact that it was close, I felt I had to take advantage of it. And it is a beautiful night to sit and listen to music."

A couple hundred other people had the same idea.

Many spectators sat in lawn chairs and on benches in front of the band shell at Hagerstown's City Park for the kickoff of Music by the Lake.

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The free eight-week concert series is hosted by the Washington County Arts Council. It will run every Saturday night through Aug. 27 and feature a variety of bands and music types. All performances start at 7 p.m.

Thursday Nite Music Club, of Warfordsburg, Pa., performed a selection of bluegrass-style music combined with Latin, gypsy jazz and mountain blues style.

Martin, who has attended previous concerts at the park, said the Thursday Nite Music Club's style was something she liked.

"I like a variety of music," she said. "This is enjoyable."

"I decided to come out to just get out of the apartment house," Hagerstown resident Mary Sunderland said.

Sunderland said she liked the music.

"I like Christian music, too," Sunderland said.

Next week's concert will feature the South Mountain String Band, a West Virginia group that plays traditional bluegrass music.

"It's the best kept secret in Hagerstown," city resident John Williamson said. "If more people would find out about this, I think they'd have more crowds."

He said he attended some of the concerts last summer.

"They were just great events," Williamson said. "We started looking for them this year."

Williamson said he enjoys the environment at the park, not just the music.

"It's not the music that brings me here," he said. "Everything that's here is good. It's a variety, and that's part of the fun of it."

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