North Texas Daily

Music series brings weekly tunes to Square

Music series brings weekly tunes to Square

Music series brings weekly tunes to Square
April 29
23:41 2015

Kayleigh Bywater / Staff Writer

Every Thursday until July 2, the Denton Main Street Association hosts its 22nd season of the award-winning concert series, Twilight Tunes.

During Twilight Tunes, people can explore the downtown area, relax on the courtyard lawn or mingle with fellow Dentonites while listening to local musicians perform.

Twilight Tunes event coordinator Christine Gossett said the series started 25 years ago as a way for people in Denton to witness the revitalization efforts of the Square.

“We wanted to get people downtown to see our progress, and we felt that the Twilight Tunes would be a great way to draw people in to go downtown,” Gossett said. “As the Square has grown over the years, we have just decided to keep the event going.”

Celebrating talent

In order to get more people interested, Gossett said the association tries to get either Denton-based bands or performers originally from Denton to entertain guests for shows. Performers will then play a set from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Bonnie Norris of the Denton-based brother and sister duo Bonnie and Nick Norris are performing at the series on June 25, which will be their 21st year as part of the series.

Even though they have played all over the community for many years, Bonnie said she always looks forward to Twilight Tunes.

“My brother and I started performing together at a really early age,” Norris said. “Anytime we can share music with the Denton community is great with us.”

Bonnie sings and plays the violin and fiddle while her brother does backup vocals and plays acoustic guitar, electric guitar and banjo.

“The crowds have gotten bigger and bigger over the years, which makes sense because Denton has been growing like crazy,” Bonnie said. “When we perform at the series, it is like a big reunion with having past Twilight Tunes attendees and new faces.”

On May 21, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass tribute band A Taste of Herb will perform on the west side lawn.

A Taste of Herb’s trumpeter John Wier said he moved to Denton three years ago because he wanted a change of scenery. He said he has played the trumpet since seventh grade, and it is one of the only hobbies he enjoys.

“Why wouldn’t a band want to play at Twilight Tunes?” Wier said. “We have done it before and had a great turnout, and it is just really an all-around nice event. You can mingle with fellow community members and it is just a great way to experience the Square.”

Something for everyone

In order to attract crowds, Twilight Tunes volunteer and Beth Marie’s co-owner Ken Willis said they try to mix up the genres of music offered in the series.

“We make sure this event is family-friendly and we also have different styles of artists perform week to week so that everyone can find something they like,” Willis said. “We do have a lot of regulars, though, who come every single week. We just really want people to enjoy themselves.”

On Thursday nights, members of the community are free to bring picnic supplies or pick up a meal from one of the restaurants on the Square and bring lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy the show on the Courthouse lawn.

Willis said he even sees people come hours in advance to scope out the perfect spot.

“It has been great to see this event grow and get to know the people who come and listen,” Willis said. “We have all kinds of people out there. You will see some people sipping on a Dr. Pepper while others are drinking a beer, and you will also see the people that choose to bring an elaborate picnic setup and those who just grab a quick bite at the local restaurant.”

For the event to be free to the public, Twilight Tunes requires a different sponsor each week. Gossett said although the association passes donation buckets around during the shows, sponsors are what make the event possible.

“We are not only supporting local artists at the Twilight Tunes, but also local business,” Gossett said. “The sponsors are able to promote themselves and share what they are about, while these performers are also able to express themselves to the community. It is a win-win.”

Making an impact

Willis said Twilight Tunes gives the community a chance to come together and to celebrate the diverse talent in town.

“If you have never come before, we encourage you to come out and experience the Twilight Tunes,” Willis said. “We always hold the event, no matter if it is raining or if the sun is out, so that the community can enjoy the series.”

Whether you are the one performing or the one enjoying the music, Gossett said Twilight Tunes provides an outlet for the community.

“When we started out, we had 50 to 75 people come out each week,” Gossett said. “Now we have anywhere from 450 to 500 people come a week. The whole community wraps around the event. Our goal is to keep downtown vibrant, and I feel that this event contributes to that.”

Featured Image: Brother-sister duo Bonnie and Nick Norris perform at the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival. The pair are regular performers in the Twilight Tunes concert series. Photo courtesy of David Minton – Denton Record-Chronicle. 

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