Free Concerts on the Square series starts Thursday

COVINGTON - It's time for one of Newton County's favorite summer traditions: The Concerts on the Square series starts Thursday, in downtown Covington.

Sponsored by the Arts Association in Newton County and United Bank in collaboration with Main Street Covington, this year's lineup features a wide variety of musical styles, and many local musicians.

Arts Association Executive Director Buncie Lanners said the series is a way to maintain a viable arts program in a year when donations are down and programming has been cut.

"Needless to say this is a tough year for the Arts Association. The lineup is made up of several local performers and many of those people are very concerned about keeping the arts alive in our community," she said.

All concerts are free and start at noon.

Kicking off the series is rhythm and blues singer Bradley Green, who will perform Sept. 3 . A Newton County native, Green is a member of Springfield Baptist Church.

"He's very easy to listen to and he writes much of his own music," Lanners said.

Performing Sept. 10 are the Georgia Flatpickers featuring David Leinweber, Robert and Lucy Whelchel and Bob McMillan. Leinweber has played the series before, but this is his first time performing with this group. The Flatpickers recently returned from playing a festival in Scotland. Their style is described as Americana.

A concert series favorite, The Daniel Jackson Explosion, will return with its smooth jazz sounds on Sept. 17.

"Their smooth jazz and the saxophone are just great on Thursday afternoon at lunchtime," Lanners said.

Concluding the series will be The Breeze performing big band music on Sept. 24.

Many of the members are part of the Newton County Community Band who offered to play in the series as an in-kind service after hearing of the Arts Association's struggle to raise money this year.

"They are great quality and the crowd always loves them," Lanners said.

"We've got a lot of local talent we're employing and what we get for that is a real mixture of music styles and genres. It's really great that we can have this kind of talent in this community and it's so varied," she added.

In case of inclement weather, concerts will be held at Turner Lake Complex, located at 6185 Turner Lake Road.

SideBar: The lineup

All concerts take place at noon on Thursdays on the Square in downtown Covington. In case of inclement weather, the alternative location is Turner Lake Complex. The concerts are free.

· Thursday - Bradley Green - Rhythm and Blues

· Sept. 10 - Georgia Flatpickers - Americana

· Sept. 17 - The Daniel Jackson Explosion - Smooth Jazz

· Sept. 24 - The Breeze - Big Band