Summer concert series earns permanent spot on calendar

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A new feel-good event has hopefully found a permanent place on Aurora’s summer agenda with the unanimous support and growing success of the Bands on the Bricks concert series.
Sara Sutherland and the Aurora Chamber of Commerce deserve a ton of credit for coming up with that vision and then finding a way to make it happen. The second year was better than the first in terms of crowd size and support and there is every reason to believe that this gig will just continue to get bigger and better each year.
Anyone who was on the downtown square Aug. 9 had to enjoy the energetic vibe permeating the August night air for this year’s season finale. Native son Myles Jasnowski had a lot to do with that, providing a fantastic display of homegrown musical talent. I heard Myles perform a solo act at last year’s Art Walk and was thoroughly impressed with how much he has improved since his Husky days. He took his music, as well as his stage presence with a full band behind him, to another level with his Bands on the Bricks debut.
Two thumbs way, way up to the idea of featuring local musicians as part of the series line-up. Part of the Chamber vision was to bring in quality entertainment from across the country, though adding one local name if not more is a great idea that is sure to boost the hometown crowd.
From a community perspective, it’s good to see young people sharing their ideas and energy, which can be contagious. Aurora needs more of that, young people say, and community leaders are obviously listening to and responding to that feedback.
The feeling on the square that night was electric is so many ways. It started with good music, naturally, but there was a sense of community and conversation that made it more than just an enjoyable concert. I know I bounced from one conversation to another with a number of folks, some I know well and others not so much. That setting made it easy to talk, listen, relax and enjoy one another’s company, something that doesn’t happen as naturally, or as often, as it once did.
It was impossible not to notice the range of ages in a crowd estimated at 350 plus, a new B-on-B record. There were kids in strollers with young parents, 5-10 year-olds swinging hula hoops and riding in the bucket train, young and middle-age adults enjoying a beverage on up to retirees parked in a lawn chair in the shade just soaking it all in. If you think about it, there aren’t too many events or venues that accommodate such a wide range of interests all at the same place and time.
Aurora has long had a well-deserved reputation as an artistic community. The Bands on the Bricks series adds another song and verse to that story.
Kurt Johnson

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