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.

dear hippie...we met at woodstock

Dear Hippie…We Met at Woodstock

Thursday, August 15th at 7:30 PM

Dan Carlson was with the New York State Police and one of the few police officers assigned to work at the Woodstock music festival. He will recount his memories of that iconic event and how the experience affected him both personally and professionally at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 15, at the Allen Public Library.

Dan Carlson is the author of Dear Hippie… We Met at Woodstock: One Cop’s Memories of the 1969 Woodstock Festival.

Billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 days of Peace and Music,” the 1969 Woodstock Festival was held in the tiny community of Bethel, New York, between August 15-18, 1969. Offering only the minimal infrastructure for traffic, water and sewage, concert organizers and government entities had not anticipated the prodigious crowds of over 400,000 and were overwhelmed. With inevitable chaos, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller was prepared to summon the National Guard. However, a grassroots spirit of cooperation and collaboration between hippies and police officers averted catastrophe, ensuring three days of peace, love and music, or as some music critics declared,” An event that defined a generation.”

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.

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trio los vigilantes

Trio Los Vigilantes

Friday, August 16th at 7:30 PM

Trio Los Vigilantes will recreate the glory of La Epoca de Oro…The Golden Age of Latin American music and cinema at 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 16, at the Allen Public Library.

During the 1950s, Latin American music enjoyed an exciting period of heightened creativity. The Bolero garnered enormous popularity, especially those sung in three-voice harmony by the famous trios of Mexico such as Los Panchos.  Combining Spanish melodrama and sentimentality with American jazz and pop, Los Vigilantes is a rare group that sings classic songs in the tradition of the trios of old.

Inspired by his father who had his own trio in the late 50s in South Texas, Trio Los Vigilantes was organized in Austin, Texas, by Isaac Peña. When Isaac met Mexico City expatriate Luis Angel Ibáñez their mutual affinity for the Bolero became the cornerstone of Trio Los Vigilantes. Aware that the Bolero and the tradition of the Trio had faded decades ago, the two were convinced that their shared vision of nostalgia would captivate the current generation.  Both being baritones, they searched for a tenor to complete the group—a high, pure voice to carry the melody. Though not Spanish speaking, John Pointer, the passion of his voice and his command of Italian (and its similarity to Spanish) made him the ideal candidate for Trio Los Vigilantes.

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.

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AMON! The Ultimate Texan

Thursday, August 22nd at 7:30 PM

Texas history includes sagas regarding legendary giants, both real and fictional.  One of those characters of our state’s past is Amon Carter, known as Mr. Ft. Worth and the King of West Texas.  Raised in meager circumstances, Amon Carter became a publishing magnate who later created one of America’s first radio stations and one of the earliest TV stations (1948).  Amon Carter is now known as the namesake for a school in Ft. Worth, a mountain in Big Bend National Park and the Amon Carter Museum, that features one of the country’s premiere American art collections.

Dave Lieber will discuss this giant among Texans at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, August 22 at the Allen Public Library.  Dave Lieber is the author of AMON! The Ultimate Texan: The Amon Carter Story, which is also a hit play having sold out performances.

When asked why he penned this fascinating biography, Dave Lieber explains, “Even though ‘Mr. Fort Worth’ was a media tycoon (owned newspaper, then radio and TV stations), he cared more about others than himself. His identity was wrapped into making Texas better, through roads, parks, schools, hospitals, museums and so much more. My favorite quote of his – and one reason I highlight his life – is that a person can’t live off a community. They must live with it. During his 50-year run he may have teased and tortured Dallas a little too much. But he also showed generations of North Texans what it means to give and help others. The true meaning of the Ultimate Texan.”

Dave Lieber’s biography of Amon Carter will be available at the program for a library discount of twenty dollars.

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.

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city lights

Classic Country Review

Saturday, August 24th at 7:30 PM

Skip Pilgrim and the City Lights Band will present a tribute to the Grand Ole Opry at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 24, at the Allen Public Library.  The show will feature country favorites made famous by Ray Price, Jim Reeves, Jack Green, Johnny Cash, Ernest Tubbs, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn and many others.

Playing the pedal steel guitar for over 45 years, Skip has performed with several Grand Ole Opry stars and was the staff steel player at the Branson Opry House in Branson, Missouri.

City Lights band members include Bobby Germany on bass guitar and lead vocals, Bob Chapman on drums and vocals, Russ Allen on lead guitar and vocals, and Jeff Pitts on keyboard.

In addition, the evening will include special guest performers Jade Flores, Dr. Bill White, Brent Frailicks, and Annette Herndon Skelton.

A pastor and recording artist, White has been performing country and gospel music for over 60 years. He will be performing the classics that his uncle, “Gentleman Jim” Reeves, made popular.

Jade Flores is a 2019 Hollywood contestant for American Idol.

A talented singer-song writer, guitarist, mandolin, and fiddle player, Brent Frailicks and his band perform at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma.

Performing at the Red Oak Opry as soloist and backup vocalist, Annette Herndon Skelton will   sing country classics in the style of Loretta Lynn.

The library is located at 300 N.  Allen Dr. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free.  Call 214-509-4911.

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Elizabeth Bacon Custer

Elizabeth Bacon Custer: The Making of a Myth

Thursday, September 12th at 7:30 PM

George Custer’s famed military career began during the Civil War and ended with his death at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.  Although Custer is the subject of over four dozen books, the public’s perception of Custer was largely created by his widow Elizabeth “Libbie” Bacon Custer.   Paula Paschal will discuss the life and legacy of Libbie Custer at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 12, at the Allen Public Library.

George and Libbie Custer were married for 12 years, and the adoration and romantic sentiments expressed in their letters demonstrated a heightened devotion.  After her husband was killed in 1876, she feared that that he was going to be blamed for the defeat and made a scapegoat.

Libbie began writing articles and scheduling speaking engagements throughout the country.  Her first book Boots and Saddles continues to remain a highly valued collector’s item.   She even collaborated with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show that perpetuated the Custer mythology.  Living until 1933, Libbie never remarried but continued to speak on her late husband’s behalf.

A retired schoolteacher, Paula Paschal is a speaker at book and history clubs, including the        Lakeside Browning Club.

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.

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shake anderson

Shake Anderson

Friday, September 13th at 7:30 PM

Talk about cool music!

Nominated for four Grammys, Shake Anderson has played with or produced for a number of performers including Curtis Mayfield, Ruben Studdard and the Indigo Girls. You can hear him perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 13, at the Allen Public Library.

Performing in Carnegie Hall, The Apollo Theatre and Radio City Music Hall, this multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and producer has also worked on numerous films. As a result, he garnered gold and platinum albums for his work on Blue Streak, Dr. Doolittle, Boys on the Side, and Austin Powers.    Shake spent six years as musical director for soul music legends “The Impressions,” and later formed the Grammy-winning gospel group New Breed with Israel Houghton.

Once confronting serious illnesses and spending nine months in the hospital, life has not always been easy for Shake.  He observes, “Once you’ve been to the edge, the middle don’t matter.”

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free.  The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.

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Mayan Grupto

Mayan Grupo Pakal

Sunday, September 30th at 3:00 PM

Grupo Pakal offers insight and new appreciation for the highly advanced Mayan culture through festive dance rituals and elaborate ceremonial regalia. They will perform 3:00 p.m. Sunday, September 15, at the Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Drive.  Sponsored by the library, the program is free.  

With a stunning wardrobe and elaborately feathered headdresses, each a handcrafted work of art, Grupo Pakal captures the essence of the advanced Mayan culture.  According to ancient tradition, each unique design utilizes natural materials including leather, shell, semi-precious stones, and exotic feathers.  Audiences of all ages are amazed and delighted by Grupo Pakal performances.

Much of the contemporary rural population of the Yucatán Peninsula and Chiapas, in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, is Mayan by descent.  Contrary to the popular myth that the Mayan people “disappeared,” millions still live in the region, and many still speak one of the Maya family of languages.

Artistic director Ricardo Alarcón’s training in Mayan ceremonial dance was passed down from family tradition. A descendant of the Aztec Indians of Mexico, he represented Mayan culture for more than a decade at Xcaret, Mexico’s popular ecological park located in the Mayan Riviera.

Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.

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Matthew Bell

Allen Folk Festival

Friday, September 27th at 7:30 PM

This year’s Allen Folk Festival is being hosted Friday, September 27, at the Allen Public Library and features an incredible performance by Mathew Bell and the Next of Kin.  The music begins at 7:30 p.m.

A popular performer at diverse venues throughout North Texas such as Deep Ellum and the Frisco Rail Yard, Mathew sings straight from the heart. The beauty of folk music is its limitless ability to evolve. Mathew Bell is no exception with his eclectic style that offers a unique blend of soul music, but “maintaining the lyricism of a lot of folk songs,” observes Mathew.  An original song writer, Mathew states, “The narrative became sort of the theme of my song-writing.”

A band that values audience interaction, both from the stage (telling the song story) or becoming acquainted with guests after the show, bonding with guests is their goal.

Combining mellow voices and a variety of instruments, Mathew Bell and the Next of Kin will deliver a mesmerizing performance that possesses a mystique and style that defy musical formula.

Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, this concert is free.

Call 214-509-4911 for more information.

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