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 chief of police

Coffee with the Chief

Saturday, January 13th at 1:00 PM

Share coffee with Allen Police Chief Brian Harvey at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, January 13, at the Allen Public Library.  Chief Harvey will discuss challenges that confront Allen, the impact of national issues on local law enforcement, and programs offered by the Allen Police Department.  After this presentation, citizens can interact personally with Allen’s police chief by submitting questions, expressing concerns, and making suggestions.  If the issue is confidential, the Chief can arrange a private meeting afterward.

Bobby Giles

Bobby Giles and Music Mountain

Friday, January 19th at 7:30 PM

Enjoy foot stomping bluegrass with Bobby Giles and Music Mountain at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 19, at the Allen Public Library.  Sharing Bluegrass, Bluegrass Gospel and Americana, this unique group only performs original songs produced and arranged by its members.

Bobby Giles is a passionate song-writer who sings lead vocals and plays the flat-pick guitar. His appreciation for the pure harmonies, faith-centered foundations, and family-friendly venues, inherent to the bluegrass music community, are the inspirations for the band’s personality and presentation.

Unlikey connections

Unlikely Connections: Texas Cattle, California Gold, and Slavery in Antebellum Texas

Thursday, January 25th at 7:30 PM

Years before the era of the great cattle drives, Texas was already rich with livestock and cattle trails.

Stock raisers and drovers drove cattle to multiple markets in and out of Texas, where they were traded for enormous profits. As commercial interactions increased, the wealth attached to the business soared, as well as the riches of those men and women who participated in the industry.

Several events made this possible, including the discovery of gold in California. With opportunities in California, migration from the American South brought newcomers to Texas and rendered a series of unlikely connections to both the Old South and the New West.

stagecoach mary

Stagecoach Mary

Saturday, February 10th at 3:00 PM

“Stagecoach Mary” Fields distinguished herself as the first African American woman star route mail carrier in the United States.  Garnering a contract from the postal service, Stagecoach Mary served as an independent contractor to transport mail from Cascade, Montana, to surrounding areas.  Protecting her cargo from thieves and bandits, she was the second woman in the United States to serve in that role.

Born a slave but freed in 1865, “Stagecoach Mary” smoked cigars, drank whiskey, cussed, and carried a rifle and revolver. She met trains with mail, then drove her stagecoach over rocky, rough roads through frigid weather. Thieves were intimidated by her height and daunting demeanor.  However, she was beloved by locals for her generosity and kindness towards children.

Negro baseball league

Negro Leagues Baseball

Thursday, February 15th at 7:30 PM

History and sports fans alike will find the “What if….” of the major leagues being integrated long before Jackie Robinson a fascinating option to consider. And how would twenty-one stars of the black baseball team era (Negro Leagues and independent black teams) like to be honored?

Bob May will discuss his acclaimed two-book series, The Best Season – The First Ninety Games (published July 2012) and The Best Season – The Challenging Finish (published August 2017) at the Allen Public Library.

Honoring Black Baseball players through highly sophisticated game simulation and prodigious research, Bob’s books give startling statistics on how baseball could have been different had black players been allowed to participate in major league baseball during its segregated era. Through sophisticated simulated baseball board games, the skills of the batter are pitted against the skills of the pitcher. “The purpose of this two-book series is to honor these twenty-one players from the Negro Leagues on the field,” Bob explains. “They were all so passionate about playing baseball. It is important to me to have people read the books, and share the joy of box seats behind the Black Ball Stars dugout for 165+ games against 375 of the best Major League ballplayers (1881-1987). Talk about it! I also believe the books honor ALL who have played Black Ball.”


Fusion of Jazz, Spirituals, and Gospel

Sunday, February 18th at 3:00 PM

Savor a musical fusion of African-American spirituals, jazz, and gospel with bandleader Donte Ford, Lawrence Mitchell-Matthews, and the Sankofa Chorale at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 25, at the Allen Public Library.

Using elements from each of these genres, the featured pieces will offer an international premiere of arrangements and compositions as well as familiar songs such as “Precious Lord” and “Oh Happy Day.” Aided by Movement Band, this performance will also include special guests Gospel vocalist Sandra Finney, the legendary rhythm and blues drummer Sugar Boy Myers, and bass guitarist Andrew Jr. Boy Jones.  Throughout the performance, dynamic solos will be offered by some of the rising stars of professional voice performance today.

pioneer units

Pioneer Units

Sunday, February 25th at 3:00 PM

The primarily African American World War I Pioneer units lacked the formal training to be engineers but were too qualified to be cooks or assigned to the laundry detail.  Because they were different from other construction and labor units, they received combat training. This was necessary because they could be stationed anywhere, including the frontlines.

Dr. Christopher Bean will discuss the historic Pioneer Units, historic military units that served America with fortitude and courage, at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 25, at the Allen Public Library.      

While stationed in Europe, the Pioneer Infantry cleared passages and constructed roads and bridges. After the Armistice, tremendous effort was expended for America to exit the war.  Thousands of Pioneer Infantry men of the 813th, 815th and 816th were assigned the sobering task of collecting bodies, and body parts, from the battlefields of France as winter encroached and prepare them for burial.

Living by the Golden Rule

Friday, March 2nd at 7:00 PM

The Golden Rule is a tenet that is universally practiced by all faiths and religions, and The World Day of Prayer is a perfect time to celebrate the commonality between all human beings.

Learn what the clerics of the Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists believe about the Golden Rule at 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 2, at the Allen Public Library.   Each cleric will discuss how the Golden Rule is taught and practiced in their belief systems.   A short period for questions and answers will follow.