Community Concert series returns

Published 8:15 am Thursday, May 16, 2024

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It started back in December of 2017. There were two local groups, a duet and a trio, that had been performing for several years at Victoria’s Uptown Coffee Cafe. When that was no longer possible, it was suggested the two groups come together for a joint concert at another location. Victoria Baptist Church, with its large sanctuary and good sound system, made sense and the congregation offered to be the host site. After that Christmas concert, there was interest in doing something similar on a regular basis. That’s how the Lunenburg County Community Concert series was born. 

“From its beginning in 2017, until the pandemic “pulled the plug” on the March 2020 concert, we had quarterly concerts featuring talented musicians — all with ties to Lunenburg County,” said Beth Bagley. “The musical offerings have been quite varied. From soloists and small groups to large choirs and bands. From Broadway, bluegrass, classical, country, and folk to contemporary Christian, gospel, jazz, and soul music — each concert has had multiple performers.” 

A few performers used accompaniment tracks, but most concerts included a variety of instruments, from autoharp, banjo, bass, drums, guitar, harmonica, mandolin, piano,and saxophone to a stage filled with the Central High School band.

“It is amazing how much local talent there is,” Bagley said. 


And for several years, it was going strong. But then came COVID-19, and after having to close things down in March 2020, it was hard to start back up again. Plans for a summer concert got postponed, as did a fall and winter performance. Soon, 2020 turned into 2021 and for a couple years, it was just hard to bring everything together again. 

It was also hard to organize because the events provided more than just music, although that was in abundance. 

“Although the concerts are free, at each event we featured a local charitable organization during our “In the Spotlight” segment,” Bagley said. “A representative was invited to share a brief overview of the organization’s work and to bring along visual aids (e.g. a powerpoint presentation or video to show on screen) and a relevant offering receptacle.” 

For example, the local Salvation Army brought their red kettles. Neighbors Helping Neighbors brought tool boxes. It just took time to coordinate with so many moving pieces. But earlier this month, after so much time off, the Community Concert series came back to Lunenburg. 

On Friday, May 3, Victoria Baptist Church played host to the first Community Concert since 2020, as friends and families gathered in the sanctuary to hear gospel bluegrass music, courtesy of Glenn and Karen Hood, along with the group First Go Round. And while there’s no set date for the next performance as yet, Bagley said it was great to see the response after so long without a show. 

“The concerts also bring together people from all over the area (Lunenburg and surrounding counties), depending on their musical tastes and connections to the performers,” Bagley said. “It is gratifying to see the audience interaction. It is also great to see how much good is being accomplished by and for the members of our community.” 


So how will you know when the next edition of the Community Concert Series returns to Victoria? Well, you can follow along with The Dispatch’s calendar. You can also visit the group’s Facebook page, which is under Lunenburg County Community Concerts.