With an average of 500 people attending each of the Tuesday’s Music Live concerts, Keith Shafer has discovered the recipe for success for a mid-day, midweek concert series – limited concert dates, lots of variety and quality performances.
“I’ve been asked by a number of organizations trying to do a noon series to solve problems,” said Shafer, the artistic director of Tuesday’s Music Live, which is celebrating its 25th season this year.
One program in Baltimore saw only a few dozen patrons despite thousands of people passing by the location during the concert hour.
Tuesday’s Music Live offers a free concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Reynolds Street for 12 dates during the year. Also, there is a catered lunch after the concert for $10 per person. Reservations are required for the lunch.
The performances feature musicians and singers from around the globe and from Augusta’s own performing community. The Sept. 25 season opener will highlight Russian performers Olga Caceanova on violin and Constantine Finehouse on piano.
Other concerts will bring in musicians from England and Ireland, while some will have artists familiar to Augustans including Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold and Paine College music professor Washington Isaac Holmes and alto Kate Davis.
Shafer said the performances are as varied as the performers. It’s not all classical music.
“We have an enormous variety,” he said. “We have an Irish fiddler, Russian Slovakian folk tunes. The Kate Davis-Isaac Holmes concert features spirituals. Every one of them is different.”
Another key to the series’ success has been its infrastructure. While Shafer is the music director at St. Paul’s, Tuesday’s Music Live is separate from the church. It is a nonprofit organization with a board of directors committed to its success, he said.
Because of its nonprofit status, the music program can seek sponsors to pay for the quality performers it utilizes.
Not only do Augustans attend Tuesday’s Music Live, but patrons drive from McCormick, S.C., Waynesboro and Aiken as well, he said. Also, it’s a popular destination for groups to attend.
“Tuesday’s Music Live is a wonderful experience in Augusta,” he said. “It has a bright future. It has a wonderful board of directors, and it’s cooking on all burners. People love it.”
For more information, call (706) 724-2485, ext. 215 or visit www.tuesdaysmusiclive.com.