Bach to Books

Bach to Books is the name for the Friends’-sponsored arts and humanities series offered at the library, free to the community. Artists, writers, and musicians appear at the library and share their talents.

The main goal of Bach to Books is to share a variety of programs featuring music, dance, visual arts, literature, history and more with the people of our community for their enjoyment and enlightenment. We offer these programs free to the public, so that everybody can attend. Most events are held in the auditorium in the library.

Upcoming Events

Here are our upcoming events. Also, check the Library Calendar or call (214) 509-4911 for more information about any Bach to Books performances.

Allen Community Band

Allen Community Band at the Library

Friday, February 24th  7:30 PM

The Allen Community Band presents a midwinter concert 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 24, at the Allen Public Library Civic Auditorium, 300 N. Allen Dr. A free event, the doors open at 7:00 p.m.

A popular bumper sticker declares, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”   This concert will afford an opportunity to express that gratitude.  Under the direction of Craig Logan, this Allen Community Band (ACB) event will honor area educators, past and present, at this concert.

Themes from “Movies and Musicals” that have been suggested by ACB members and area educators will be featured.  Selections include songs from the Star Wars series, various Hollywood hits, and of course Broadway musicals.

RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Cathay Williams

U.S. Army’s Only Female Buffalo Soldier

Saturday, February 25th  3:00 PM

RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Cathay Williams, the first documented African-American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army and the only woman to serve in the U.S. Army as a man.  She shares this amazing story at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 25, at the Allen Public Library and the program is free.

Born in Missouri to a free man of color and a woman in slavery, Williams was legally a slave. As a teenager, she worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation near Jefferson City, Missouri. In 1861, Union forces occupied Jefferson City and captured slaves who were designated by the Union as “contraband.” At age 17, Williams was impressed into the 8th Indiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment, commanded by Colonel William Benton.

Celtic Night

Friday, March 17th 7:30 PM

Lift your spirits with harpist and vocalist Sarah Copus, Welsh performer Chris Grooms and Irish dancer Jason Purcell. Bagpiper Wayne Terrell opens this free program with a lively processional.  Wayne is also a member of the Allen Community Band. Irish dancer Jason Purcell takes the stage with rocket-speed leg and foot movements.  A former Allen High School student, Jason was the Irish Regional Dancing Competition champion for 2012 and 2013.

A professor of English at Collin College, Dr. Grooms contributed the song “Blodeuwedd: Song of the Flowers” to a new archive of traditional Welsh music for Smithsonian Folkways.  Dr. Grooms was the only American invited to contribute to this anthology of native Welsh music.

Sarah Copus has been featured as a soloist in concerts through the Gaelic Youth Chorus with major touring artists like Celtic Woman, with whom she has performed 3 times, and The Irish Tenors. In July, she sang a duet with Emmet Cahill of Celtic Thunder during his performance in Dallas. She has also opened for Irish musical sensations Téada during their Irish Christmas in America tour.

The Red River Bridge War: A Texas – Oklahoma Battle

Thursday, March 23rd 7:30 PM

Learn about the only time in Texas history when Texas Rangers were summoned for an armed interdiction against another American state. Rusty Williams, author of The Red River Bridge War: A Texas-Oklahoma Border Battle, will share this account at the Allen Public Library.

This conflict does not refer to the annual football rivalry, but about the time Texas and Oklahoma almost went to war over an old toll bridge north of Denison that connected the states across the Red River in1931.   This two-week affair was marked by the presence of National Guardsmen with field artillery, Texas Rangers with itchy trigger fingers, angry mobs, Model T blockade runners, and even a Native American peace delegation. Traffic backed up for miles, blocking travel between the states.

Stary Ulsa Belarus Band

Friday, March 24th 7:30 PM

Performing the medieval music of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania,  the Belarusian folk band Stary Olsa will be featured at the Allen Public Library 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 24.

Founded in 1999 by Zmicier Sasnouski, the group is named for a brook in the west part of Mahilou Region or Belarus. The band’s repertoire includes Belarusian folk balladry, martial songs, and national dances, works of Belarusian Renaissance composers, compositions from Belarusian aulic music collections, Belarusian canticles of the 16th – through early 17th centuries, as well as popular European melodies of the Middle and Renaissance Ages.

The Freedmen’s Bureau and Post Civil War Texas

Thursday, April 6th 7:30 PM

Learn about the successes, challenges and failures of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Texas at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at the Allen Public Library.  The guest speaker will be Dr. Christopher Bean, author of Too Great a Burden to Bear: The Struggle and Failure of the Freedmen’s Bureau in Texas.  

The Freedmen’s Bureau provided valuable assistance to former slaves by offering food, clothing, shelter, educational opportunities, and medical assistance. In this region, armed conflicts between union and confederate sympathizers continued after the war, and freed slaves were often caught in the middle.  These skirmishes led them to seek protection from the Freedmen’s Bureau.

The Life and Times of Julia Child

Thursday, April 30th 7:00 PM

Acclaimed food writer and historian Sharon Hudgins recounts the fascinating story of Julia Child, as well as her personal encounters with the esteemed culinary star, at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at the Allen Public Library.

Sharon interviewed America’s French Chef for The Stars and Stripes newspaper, where Sharon was the food writer.   That interview, and the story behind it, was reprinted in Gastronomica magazine’s special Julia Child issue in 2005 and in a special tribute to Julia Child by the International Association of Culinary Professionals on the 100th anniversary of Julia’s birth in 2012.

Julia’s first cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, was published in 1961 and soon became a bestseller.  When the second volume appeared a decade later, Julia Child had become an acclaimed celebrity with her own cooking show on public television. She was revered for her unpredictable humor, distinctive voice, as well as her culinary skills.  Her kitchen is now displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.