By Joe Tash
Two concerts are planned at the Del Mar county library branch as part of the 2011 Acoustic Showcase, a series of 30 free concerts featuring acoustic music that will be held at library branches around San Diego County.
The Del Mar Library is located at 1309 Camino Del Mar. The two Del Mar events are scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12, and Friday, April 29. The acoustic music series was launched with a concert in Rancho San Diego on Feb. 1, and runs through June.
“We’re really excited about it,” said Del Mar branch librarian Gretchen Schmidt. “This is a new thing for us, we’re looking to see if the community is receptive.”
The Feb. 12 concert will run from 3-4 p.m. and feature duo Seaholm Mackintosh, with a theme of “Music for Lovers,” as it falls the Friday before Valentine’s Day.
At 11 a.m. on Friday, April 29, singer/harpist Mair Rathburn will perform in conjunction with the Del Mar Rose Society rose show, which will also be held at the library. The public is invited to attend the concert and also view the roses that will be on display.
Light refreshments will be served, said Schmidt.
The concerts will mark the first time adult music has been presented in the library’s community room, although music programs for children have been held in the past, said Schmidt.
This is the second year the San Diego County Library has sponsored the acoustic music series, said series coordinator Ross Moore. Funding for the concert series is provided by Friends of the Library groups at the different branches.
Moore said the concert series provides new audiences for the performers, while also bringing new visitors to the library.
“The whole idea is to help with programming at the library, to provide music programs, which patrons are asking for, with an emphasis on local music,” said Moore.
“It’s been really successful. The musicians have really liked it, it’s what we call a good listening space,” said Moore. Musicians often play at clubs or coffee houses, where there are a lot of distractions. At the library, he said, audiences have come strictly to hear the music.
Audiences at past Acoustic Showcase concerts have included people who regularly follow the musicians, but who might not be regular library patrons. The audiences also include library regulars who might be unfamiliar with the musicians.
“It’s great for the library, great for the musicians and great for the community,” Moore said. “People are getting these wonderful concert experiences for free.”
Last year, an average of 45 people attended the concerts. Moore said it has been a struggle to build the audience, since the series of concerts is spread out throughout the county library system, which covers such a wide geographic area.
The slate of acoustic singer/songwriters has been augmented this year, as the Showcase has brought on two new partners, the San Diego Folk Song Society and the San Diego Bluegrass Society, said Moore. A third partner, elite Audience, is back for the second year. The partners help with booking performers.
Eventually, Moore said, he would like to expand the series further to include jazz and light classical music.
Among the performers scheduled for this year’s Acoustic Showcase are Joe Rathburn, John Foltz, Jeff Berkley and Peggy Watson.
Concerts will be held from Julian to Jacumba to Fallbrook, and several shows are also planned at the Encinitas library.
For a full schedule and information about the performers, visit