Library's latest event is more about volume than volumes

September 28, 2008|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN - There was music coming from the Washington County Free Library, but not what you would expect. No singing puppets or songs about B-I-N-G-O.

This was rock 'n' roll, with screaming electric guitar licks and relentless drum pounding.

Libraries - quiet. Rock 'n' roll - loud.

Saturday afternoon, opposites did attract.

The lower parking lot of the downtown library was the setting for Teen Band Fest, which also included solo acts and dancers.

This is the first year the library has sponsored the event, said Lisa Key, the library's circulation manager and teen activities coordinator.


"It evolved from the Teen Idol competition we sponsor each year at The Maryland Theatre," she said. "Last year, we recruited high school bands to play for intermission, and we got such a great response, we decided to offer them their own venue."

And while some people might think rock 'n' roll and libraries don't mix, Key disagrees.

"We're trying to bring that age group back to the library," she said. "We want to change their perception of us. We want to show that we're relevant and up to date."

Key said the band fest was not a competition, but "an artistic venue."

"These kids just like to play, and this is an opportunity for them to perform before an audience," she said.

The one rule - all bands had to be comprised of teenagers or have at least one teen in the group.

Taking to the stage Saturday were The Drummer Quits, Exit 1, Glass Coffin, Truthful Fate, Callus, Illusions, The Trip and Defuse. Also performing were hip-hop dancers Dancin' Time Studios; rapper Greg Walton; Braden Myers; and Erika Cooper and Katie Johnson.

In addition to music, there was a bracelet-making workshop, a booth for temporary tattoos and giveaways, including T-shirts, a CD and an iPod Shuffle donated by Target.

Key said she was pleased with the number of people who turned out to listen to five hours of music.

"Weather was our first hurdle," she said. "But the rain stayed away and we have a good crowd."

Among those attending the band fest were Lisa and Mike Morgan, who came to hear their son, Brandon, 14, perform with the band Truthful Fate.

A student at Smithsburg High School, Brandon plays acoustic and electric guitar, Lisa Morgan said.

"This is his first gig, so we're all nerves," she said.

Heather Linkowsky, 17, of Hagerstown said she and a friend has dropped off books at the library and decided to stick around to hear some music.

"I think it's awesome that the library is offering something like this," she said. "I would love to see them do more of this kind of thing. Who would have thought - rock music at the library."

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