NORMAN — by Hannah Cruz
The idea is simple: Free live music, a park and an audience. It’s a formula that’s proven successful for the Performing Arts Studio’s Summer Breeze Concert Series, now in its 14th year.
This year’s series brings nine local and national acts to Lions Park for a summer of laid-back listening on Sunday evenings. The Giving Tree Band kicks off the series on May 18, with eight more concerts through Sept. 7.
“It is an event that everybody can come and enjoy regardless of age,” PAS executive director Shari Ransley said. “Bring all of your family, bring all of your friends, bring dinner, bring a blanket, sit down and enjoy a Sunday night.”
The series’ success is thanks to its simplicity and neighborhood picnic-like feel, Ransley said. With no distractions from additional vendors or activities, guests are able to enjoy the music void of any distractions.
“This isn’t a Saturday night concert series, this is a Sunday night,” Ransley said on the simplicity of the series. “This is a recharge for the week. This is everybody take a deep breath and really relax and let your weekend finish nicely and go home and relax and start your week.”
Nancy McClellan, assistant to the director, agreed.
“And parents don’t feel any pressure because we don’t have anybody out there trying to sell things,” McClellan said. “You can go out there and not spend one cent and have a delightful evening.”
Summer Breeze Chair Mark McClellan said the series offers audiences a variety of music, introducing audiences to groups they may not have heard before. This year’s series includes genres like rock ‘n’ roll, salsa, country, folk, swing, jazz, Americana, red dirt and rockabilly. Performances are by The Giving Tree Band, Salsa Shakers Band, honeyhoney, Red Dirt Rangers, John Arnold Band, Larry Mitchell, Sunday Flyers, Handsome Devils, and Kim Lenz and the Jaguars.