14 Aug 2012

Music On Nantucket…

Music on Nantucket
Main Street Nantucket is alive – with the sound of music! It’s not uncommon to see music on Nantucket including street performers downtown, particularly on a bustling summer night. But it was a complete surprise…and delight….when a bright eyed trio of talented siblings took to the sidewalk last week to “wow” passersby with an impromptu serenade. The three young people, stringed instruments at the ready, were strategically located just outside the Nantucket Pharmacy. As I slid onto a bench, with my tuna sandwich and chilled iced tea, I considered how lucky I am to live in a place where a work day lunch break can be paired with a mini-concert on a warm summer afternoon.

I must say, these siblings weren’t your average street performers. They were extraordinarily talented, very professional and extremely grateful for the dollar bills being tossed in their violin cases. Once their fast growing audience discovered they were related, some of us chuckled and noted it was Nantucket’s version of the Von Trapp Family! These young people are already learning what a friend of mine calls the “golden rule” of life – find something you love to do and then figure out a way to get paid for it.

Taking to the streets to entertain island residents and visitors is not a new concept. For years, one of our family’s favorite activities has been to grab a post dinner ice cream cone and stroll through downtown, stopping to listen to The Cobbletones (a local Acappella group), a Main Street guitarist or a Centre Street vocalist. When our daughter was four, she asked one of the street singers if he knew “You Are My Sunshine.” He gladly accommodated and she got her own private serenade. Today, even at twenty years old, she still loves to stop and make the same request of one of the performers.

Islanders and visitors suffered major disappointment this past weekend, when Mother Nature forced the first ever cancellation of the annual POPS on Nantucket Concert on Jetties Beach, benefiting Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Some families plan their annual vacation around the POPS and many schedule visitors during the weekend to attend the always anticipated event. Although impossible to replace the Boston POPS, it’s reassuring to know that music abounds on the island in various venues. The Nantucket Atheneum offers a wide variety of concerts, the Nantucket Historical Association sponsors Chamber music and other talent, the Nantucket Community Music Center features a broad selection of musical performances and the local churches often showcase musical entertainment throughout the year. There’s a little something to whet every musical appetite and sometimes enjoying local talent is as easy as walking down the street.

Before the summer is over, bring your family and guests to downtown Nantucket after dinner. Grab an ice cream cone and take a stroll. Stop along the way to enjoy the talent of an impromptu troubadour. Encourage your kids or grandkids to place a request, toss a dollar (or two) in their case and celebrate the opportunity to live on an island that is alive with music.

Do re mi…

Shellie Dunlap

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