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 performance.

Over the River Band

Over the River Band

Friday, January 18th at 7:30 PM

Warm up a cold winter night with sizzling bluegrass from Over the River band performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 18, at the Allen Public Library.

Inspired by their common love of roots and Americana music, veterans of the Dallas music scene assembled to form Over the River. Drawing on influences as varied as Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, The Byrds, Hank Williams, and Tom Petty, Over the River performs a combination of original tunes and choice covers.  This band believes that fun times with family and friends improve with “foot tappin’ and swing dancin’ music.”



Friday, February 8th at 7:30 PM

Delight in the haunting melodies and ballads, vocals and virtuosic guitar stylings of Pia Leinonen and Joni Tiala, the Finnish folk duo Vellamo, at 7:30 pm Friday, February 8, at the Allen Public Library. In addition to performing in the Finnish, Celtic and Scandinavian folk traditions, they also compose memorable original songs.

In Finnish mythology, Vellamo is the goddess of the sea.  Based in Kokkola, on the western coast of Finland, Pia and Joni combine the rich tradition of Finnish folksong with an appealing “retro” sensibility, creating an exotic and magical acoustic experience.

Raised in the arctic region of Lapland, Pia is Vellamo’s lead singer.  Combining her love and vast knowledge of Finnish folk music with the western singer–songwriter tradition, her exquisite voice evokes creative expression.

Johanna July

Johanna July

Saturday, February 9th at 3:00 PM

RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Johanna July, a black Seminole who served as a scout and translator, at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 9, at the Allen Public Library.  The program is free.

Johanna July was born in Nacimiento de Los Negros, the settlement established in Northern Mexico following the emigration of Indian and black Seminoles from Indian Territory.   During the 1870s, the U.S. Army desperately needed translators and scouts who were familiar with the border country. To achieve this, they convinced Black Seminoles to come to Eagle Pass, Texas. After moving here, Johanna July learned to tame horses and herd the family’s goats and cattle.

With the death of her father, she worked the stock as well as tamed wild horses for the U.S. Army and area ranchers. She died shortly after World War II ended and is buried in the Brackettville Seminole Cemetery.

Shelley Carroll Quartet

Shelley Carrol Quartet

Friday, February 15th at 7:30 PM

Swing to the lively jazz music of the Shelley Carrol Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 15, at the Allen Public Library.    A staple in the Dallas area jazz scene and worldwide, Shelley Carrol performs with the Duke Ellington big band as well as on his own.  He has also recorded and or performed with Maureen McGovern, Tony Bennet, Nancy Wilson, Sheryl Crow and a host of others. Don’t miss this great night of music.

Once a student of the legendary Texas Tenor greats Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson, Shelley attended the University of North Texas, where he earned a spot in the Grammy Nominated One O’clock Lab Band. During the same period, Shelley was invited to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra by acclaimed trumpeter Barry Lee Hall.

Shelley Carrol released his CD I Heard That in 2013.

Private Jeff Morgan Tucker

Private Jeff Morgan Tucker

Sunday, February, 17th at 3:00 PM

The name Jeff Morgan Tucker does not appear in the numerous articles and books written about America’s involvement during World War I.  In 2017, Collin County Historical Society volunteer and genealogist Kristin Spalding uncovered information about Private Jeff Morgan Tucker from an old McKinney Courier-Gazette newspaper article and learned that he was the first black soldier to be returned to Collin County from the war.

Hear about Private Jeff Tucker and other African American doughboys from Spalding at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 17 at the Allen Public Library.

Private Tucker was born and raised in McKinney and was living in Greenville at the time of his enlistment. He served from Oct. 23, 1918, until Dec. 19 of that same year when he died of pneumonia. His mother, Susie Daniels, was notified of his death.  When he was brought home to Collin County, Tucker was buried at Ross Cemetery, the county’s segregated graveyard.  While completing her research, Kristin was confronted with a daunting fact—this fallen soldier did not have a marker on his grave.  A genealogist, Kristin observed, “I thought that was something that needed to happen – he needed to have a grave marker.”

LoraMarie Bernard

Counterfeit Prince of Old Texas

Sunday, February 24th at 3:00 PM

Hear the fascinating saga of swindler and slave smuggler Monroe Edwards from author Lora-Mare Bernard at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 24, at the Allen Public Library.

After Edwards died in Sing Sing prison in 1847, penny dreadfuls memorialized him as the most celebrated American forger in history.  Bernard unravels the unbelievable story of one of the most notorious criminal adventurers ever to set foot on the soil of the Lone Star State.

Monroe Edwards’ contributions to Texas settlement, revolution, and annexation were sadly funded by his activities as a slave smuggler.   Discovering new information on the Texas slave trade, Lora-Marie will discuss the slavery and the transfer of cash from its origins in Africa to the Caribbean and then to Texas.