CRESTVIEW — The strains of Frédéric Chopin and Giacomo Puccini mingle with the tomes of William Shakespeare and F. Scott Fitzgerald at the Crestview Public Library many Monday and Tuesday evenings.
The library expands its scope of services with programs such as the Music at the Library concert series, which has grown in attendance.
Tuesday evening, Crestview cellist Montavius Diamond performed a program of classical and American folk music.
Some library patrons pulled up chairs to listen to the concert while others continued to work or read. Many applauded after each number.
The concerts provide patrons a cultural opportunity or just simply pleasant background music while they study, read or do research, library staffers say.
“They appreciate especially the calmer, classical instrumental type music,” reference librarian Sandra Dreaden said. “Someone stopped at my desk while Montavius was playing and said, ‘This is just marvelous,’ and wanted to know if we have it regularly.”
Past performers have included violinist Meagan Jackson, a Crestview High School student saxophone quartet and a local dulcimer band.
Dreaden, who coordinates the Music at the Library performances and art or cultural exhibits, said the more mellow performances are most popular.
“When we had a louder, vocal performance, that was not appreciated,” she said. “We do have patrons who are trying to get work done on the computers.”
“I like it,” Rocky Bayou Christian School rising senior Ian Kampert said. “A lot of people use the library as a place to study and music helps people remember what they studied.”
Some patrons attend the concerts specifically to hear a performer or to enjoy a particular instrument, Dreaden said.
“People are also just pleasantly surprised in the evening when they walk in and hear the music,” she said.
One was Justin Thompson, a rising Crestview High senior who was looking for books on a particular subject.
“I enjoy the music,” Justin said, saying it was the first time he heard one of the performances. “It adds dramatic effect to book searching.”
For younger or amateur musicians seeking performance opportunities and exposure, Music at the Library is an excellent experience, Dreaden said.
“I like seeing a young guy just starting out who’s trying to get his name out there have a chance like this,” patron Alan Pinker said while using a public computer as Diamond played in the background.
Dreaden said any area musician or small group interested in performing may contact her. If the performer donates a CD of their music, the library will catalog it and add it to its collection, she said.
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Music at the Library performances
WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday nights, as scheduled:
July 28, Aug. 25: Viola performance by Diego Castellanos
Aug. 26: Cello performance by Montavius Diamond
WHERE: Crestview Public Library
NOTES: Free concerts. Contact reference librarian Sandra Dreaden, 682-4432, to perform