Six weeks of music, dancing and family fun hosted by the Apponaug Area Improvement Association begins June 13, with bands from all genres coming to perform rain or shine in Apponaug Village.
Four years ago, the Apponaug Area Improvement Association (AAIA) began the Music for a Summer Night concert series. The goal of the concert series is to give something new to families living in Apponaug, and to have an opportunity to give residents a sense of community.
Carol Pratt, who is the owner of Carol’s Country Corner in Apponaug, is also the former president of the AAIA and current treasurer. Pratt, who is the co-chair of the concert series along with Derek Anderson, believes that the series has been a huge success.
The idea for the concerts came about four years ago when the AAIA decided to no longer hold the arts and crafts festival.
“I don’t want to take all the credit,” Pratt said, “but we were looking for something new because we weren’t doing our arts and crafts festival anymore. So it was my suggestion, along with Derek, to host a concert series.”
Ever since then, the association holds the series annually, donating money they receive from advertisements and raffles to their scholarship fund for local students. The $500 they received from each of their sponsors goes to paying the bands that perform each week.
“We have six official sponsors, and they are the city of Warwick, Place Jewelers, The Crow’s Nest Restaurant, Coastway Community Bank, Pawtucket Credit Union, and Restyle Design. They cover the cost of the bands, so that any of the money that we make off the ads in the ad book and the raffle we have every concert goes straight to our scholarship fund. We give $2,000 in scholarships a year, and they’re for graduating high school seniors living in the Apponaug area,” said Pratt.
When asked why she was originally drawn to the idea of a music festival, Pratt was concerned with families in the Apponaug area, wanting to give them a place to go and have fun in the summer. “I think that everyone is so busy in their lives today that it’s nice to get out in the summer evening and sit on the grass and have an enjoyable night out as a family, or as a community.”
Pratt stressed that because the event is free, it is open to anyone who wants to come, regardless where they live.
“We have grown in the number of people attending each year. We have people coming from outside the village area, and it’s just a fun evening. The little kids get up and dance, the older people get up and dance, and I think we need more of that in our lives. I remember as a child going out and having a picnic with my family and listening to some music, and I want to bring that back into the community.”
The first concert features the blues band Neil Vitullo and the Vipers with Dave Howard. The second concert showcases The Reggie Centracchio Orchestra on June 27, and they will give the audience big band swing and jazz.
On July 11, The Red Shoes Band performs a mixture of rock, blues and soul. The Joe Esposito Quartet will play jazz on July 25. Music from the 1950s to the present can be heard on Aug. 8 when the Bobby Justin Band takes the stage. Finally, the Ginny Conley Quartet will feature a selection of jazz at the final performance in the concert series.
The Music for a Summer Night concert series will begin on June 13. All concerts are from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the Warwick City Hall steps but will move across the street to the
Warwick Central Baptist Church in case of rain.