Longview Arboretum and Nature Center

The grand opening of the Longview Arboretum and Nature Center on Saturday November 2, 2019. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

The Longview Arboretum and Nature Center will put Longview’s sesquicentennial celebration to music starting in April.

The Longview Arboretum Spring Concert Series: Celebrating Longview’s 150 Years of Musical Heritage will run Thursday nights from April 9 to May 14. The new concert series will serve multiple purposes, said board vice president Anne Hugman — raising money to support the arboretum and introducing people who have never visited to the new facility. The Arboretum’s first phase, which consists of 11 acres of a total 26-acre project, opened this past fall.

Admission to each concert will be $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 12 and younger and free for children ages 3 and younger.

“I want the public to understand, as a nonprofit, we do have a public-private partnership with the city. It is the nonprofit’s responsibility to keep, maintain and replant all of the gardens,” Hugman said. “To do that, we need money. That is our goal — is that all funds raised go directly back into the garden, into the plants, into the maintenance and beautification of the arboretum.”

The concerts are from 6-8 p.m. each night, with entrance at the west gate, in the Maude Cobb Convention Center parking late, starting at 5 p.m.

Hugman said the concerts will feature a variety of music — jazz, Christian R&B, bluegrass, Southern rock and the Longview String Quartet.

“We’ve tried to cover a lot of genres so that we’ll get different groups,” Hugman said.

Bands will perform on The Stage at the Water’s Edge, with the audience sitting on the Great Lawn. Concert-goers should bring blankets and chairs, as well as their own food, drinks and beer and wine.

Hugman said an emcee will present information each time about music throughout Longview’s 150 years. Concerts will move into the Nature Center’s warehouse in the event of rain.

The concert series will overlap with another popular concert series, Downtown Live. Hugman said the two programs will feature different music from each other.

“This is a synergy with Downtown Live,” Hugman said. “What we’d like to promote is a Thursday in the Garden, Friday night downtown. We in no way want to compete.”

The concert lineup is:

  • April 9 — Jazz Connection with George Faber
  • April 16 — Covie and Co., a six-person Christian band
  • April 23 — Low D, funk, soul and R&B
  • April 30 — bluegrass band The Purple Hulls
  • May 7 — Dagnabbit, performing Southern rock
  • May 14 — Longview String Quartet, performing songs from throughout the decades