Robina Rhapsody provides musical fun for the whole family

Woodward Talk | Published July 15, 2015

 The Aaron Vaughn Band, a Berkley-based group, plays during last year’s Robina Rhapsody concert series at the corner of Robina Avenue and 12 Mile Road in downtown Berkley. The series continues this year July 16 with the Aaron Vaughn Band’s final performance.

The Aaron Vaughn Band, a Berkley-based group, plays during last year’s Robina Rhapsody concert series at the corner of Robina Avenue and 12 Mile Road in downtown Berkley. The series continues this year July 16 with the Aaron Vaughn Band’s final performance.

Photo provided by Denise Brainard

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BERKLEY — The corner of Robina Avenue and 12 Mile Road in Berkley has long been a hot spot for community events, and the trend is continuing this summer as the Robina Rhapsody brings local favorites and swan song performances each month through September.

The Robina Rhapsody is a concert series co-sponsored by the Berkley Junior Women’s Club and the Downtown Development Authority to get people into the downtown district, as well as give local musicians a chance to shine.

Denise Brainard, president of the Berkley Junior Women’s Club, said that the Robina Rhapsody also is about getting people together with neighbors.

“I think Berkley is such a great town, and it is these kinds of events that make it a great place,” Brainard said. “It really is a chance to get together in the community and have whole-family fun. Some people you only get to see at the Robina Rhapsody, and the music is always good.”

Robina Rhapsody patrons are encouraged to bring food, lawn chairs and the whole family to the events.

The Robina Rhapsody kicked off June 18 with local favorite Madigan’s Attic playing cover songs with an Irish twist.

The series will continue July 16 with the Aaron Vaughn Band, which will use the Robina Rhapsody as its final performance, followed by the Aspersions on Aug. 20 and the Anthony Lai Band on Sept. 10. Each performance will run from 6-9 p.m.

The music ranges from 1970s rock to eclectic and acoustic selections. Brainard said the organizing committee strives to provide music for all tastes.

“We always look for bands we think people are going to like, and some who play local,” she said. “The Aspersions play at the American Legion and somebody said they were awesome. And the Anthony Lai Band I heard play at Berkley Days and liked the sound, so we booked them.”

DDA trustee Keith Logsdon said events like the Robina Rhapsody get people to stay in the downtown district, as opposed to just passing through.

“This event gets people gathering in downtown and encourages people to go to local restaurants and get carryout and eat it at the concert,” Longsdon said. “I think events like this make Berkley vibrant because we have activities going on. The Robina Rhapsody has been going on for several years, and it seems to be successful, as it is something people look forward to.”

The event will have something for the children of the family, as there will be bubble machines and chalk that kids can use to draw on the sidewalk. Brainard said the event is accessible, as many times people who are just out walking their dogs will stop in and listen to a song or two.

But, Brainard added, it is the music that is the highlight of each night.

“I think everybody loves music, especially music you can sing along to, as it evokes memories in people and happy times,” she said. “You can sing along and we have people dancing, and it is something that can be enjoyed by the toddlers all the way up to the seniors and everyone in between.”

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