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.

US Army Medical Support in WWI

Thursday, June 14th at 7:30 PM

Throughout history, epidemics or virulent infections often proved to be a greater determinant of battle outcomes than combat operations.  During World War I, thousands of men occupied congested trenches for prolonged periods, facilitating the spread of diseases.   The Spanish flu and other ailments were also transmitted through training and base camps.

Unlike previous wars, the army was also confronted with an unprecedented challenge—caring for soldiers suffering from inhalation of chlorine or mustard gas.  These substances caused blindness, scarred vocal chords and severe lung disease for survivors.

Learn how the Army Medical Department strived to improve and maintain soldiers’ health during World War I with Dr. Sanders Marble at 7:30 p.m. Thursday June 14 at the Allen Public Library.   Honoring Flag Day, the program will open with a medley of patriotic music performed by members of the Allen Community Band.

Vinyl Stripes

Friday, June 15th at 7:30 PM

The Vinyl Stripes will shake, rattle and roll Allen Public Library’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 15.  This eclectic band not only evokes memories of car hops, Coke stands and Rockabilly performers like Buddy Holly and Roy Orbison, but their harmonies and arrangements also feature modern beats.

Their unforgettable tribute to Rock ‘n’ Roll’s king Elvis Presley includes
Mystery Train.”  Released by Sun Records in 1955, this song ranked #77 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Bonnie and Clyde

Thursday, June 21st at 7:30 PM

In the 1930s, most North Texas residents told and retold Bonnie and Clyde stories, embellishing the tales each time.  From robbing the local bank or looting Uncle Gus’s gas station to stealing Aunt Sue’s car, America was captivated with Bonnie and Clyde stories.

After the famous duo was ambushed, their stolen bullet-riddled Ford V8 car was displayed at county fairs across the country.  People stood in line for over an hour to get a glimpse of this car that had over a hundred bullet holes.  As a lad, my father observed the blood stains, shattered windshield and bullet holes while at a fair.   That car can now be seen at the Primm Hotel and Casino at Primm, Nevada.

Pulp magazines and the 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty enhanced America’s fascination with Bonnie and Clyde.

Hear the real story of Bonnie and of Clyde from Clyde Barrow’s nephew Buddy Barrow and historian Charles Heard at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, at the Allen Public Library.

The History of Military Rifles

Thursday, June 28th at 7:30 PM

Learn about the history of military rifles, from the Colonial period to Viet Nam, from Bill Crawley, author of the Development of the American Fighting Rifle.  He will be sharing his knowledge of these weapons at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 28, at the Allen Public Library.   Mr. Crawley will also discuss the 1847 Colt Walker pistol and its significance in Texas history.  A replica of the Colt Walker 1847 and rifles will be on display at the program.

Homo naledi

Thursday, July 12th at 7:30 PM

Learn about the discovery of our newly unearthed human relative Homo naledi with National Geographic blogger and nature photographer John S. Mead at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12, at the Allen Public Library.  Cavers first found the Homo naledi within a narrow chamber in a cave in South Africa in 2013.   Under the direction of paleontologist Dr. Lee Berger, other fossils of an unprecedented 15 individuals of Homo naledi were eventually discovered.

This discovery was announced to the world formally in September 2015 and was featured as the cover story of the October 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine.   Ever since the announcement, John has been teaching, displaying photographs, and offering virtual tours about Homo naledi to interested students and enthusiasts of all ages.

Austin Lounge Lizards

Friday, July 13th at 7:30 PM

Ever contemplated hearing the music of Frank Zappa combined with bluegrass or perhaps a fusion of Homer & Jethro and the Rolling Stones?   Become a reptilian and enjoy the music of the Austin Lounge Lizards at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13 at the Allen Public Library.

The Austin Lounge Lizards are arguably the perfect pairing of their hometown’s slogan, “Live Music Capital of the World,” and its unofficial motto, “Keep Austin Weird.”   Since 1980, the group has been spoofing the topics American families try to avoid at family gatherings—subjects like politics, religion, romance, and themselves.  With unique harmonies and instrumental expertise, the band has become legendary.

Washington on the Brazos

Thursday, July 26th at 7:30 PM

Historian Richard B. McCaslin will discuss his book Washington on the Brazos: Cradle of the Texas Republic, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at the Allen Public Library.

The saga of the Texas Republic begins on the west side of the Brazos River at Washington when a declaration of independence was approved on March 6, 1836.  After approving this declaration of independence and constitution, the delegates fled as Santa Anna’s army approached following the downfall of the Alamo.

The government of the Republic of Texas returned to Washington in 1842. After the United States annexed Texas in 1846, Austin became the capital of the Lone Star State because of its more central location.

Tribute to the Grand Ole Opry

Saturday, July 28th 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, July 28, at the Allen Public Library.  The show will feature country favorites that have been performed on stage at The Grand Old Opry, including songs by country legends such as Ray Price, Porter Wagner, Mel Tills, Buck Owens and Patsy Cline.    

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.  Today, Skip maintains a rigorous recording, producing and performing schedule.