The pulse on the Plaza

Troy Summer Music Concert Series is in season

By Gary Spencer

Photo: The Troy Summer Music Concert Series runs through Sept. 1 at Prouty Plaza; photo: Troy Main Street

It always brings a smile to my face when an underdog manages to overachieve. This could very well be applied to the city of Troy, Ohio, as it presents yet another season of the Troy Summer Music Concert Series, which officially kicked off Memorial Day weekend and is just getting warmed up for all kinds of great music for free all summer long.

Outdoor concerts in the city of Troy are hardly a new thing. Live music has been a staple of the city’s summer entertainment since the late 1970s. Over the years, the Summer Music Concert Series has evolved into a full-fledged production and is now a cooperative effort between the downtown Troy advocacy organization known as Troy Main Street, the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center and the City of Troy, with funding and support from the Troy Foundation and local community sponsorships in order to keep the shows free to the public to enjoy all season long. One of the primary organizers is Troy Main Street Executive Director Karin Manovich, who has a direct hand in planning and promoting many of the concerts in this year’s concert series. 

“Programming is coordinated between each of the presenting partners – Troy Main Street, the Hayner Cultural Center, the City of Troy,” Manovich explained. “Troy Main Street receives requests from bands throughout the year. We frequently scout bands in the region and seek referrals from people in the industry. Many bands are requested from previous performances by the community [as well]. We weigh these factors, as well as availability and cost before committing to particular bands.”

Community and regional favorites are always a staple for the Troy Summer Music Concert Series, and this year’s lineup has plenty of those. Some of the noteworthy local acts set to play the 2014 season include Dayton-based Beatles tribute act Ticket to Ride on Friday, July 18, the self-described “hippie country that rocks” duo of Higgins & Madewell on Friday, Aug. 1, the swing and big band sounds of the Tom Daugherty Orchestra on Saturday, Aug. 9, the traditional jazz sounds of the Troy Civic Band on Sunday, Aug. 10, the Dayton Philharmonic Concert Band on Sunday, Aug. 17 and the acoustic-driven harmonic pop/rock of The Fries Band on Friday, Aug. 22. 

Just based on the regional acts lined up for this season, one can easily conclude the great array of music the Troy Summer Music Concert Series gives to its community every year offers up something to please most anyone. 

“The music varies from classical to bluegrass to oldies to blues and more,” Manovich said. “Our target demographic is everyone!”

The variety is further evidenced by the addition of a couple of national acts. The first of these is the indie folk duo from Brooklyn, Barnaby Bright. This group has garnered critic’s darlings status with endorsements from Amazon and NPR and their music has been woven into soundtracks for TV shows like “E.R.” and “The Days of Our Lives.” The duo is scheduled to make their Troy Summer Music Concert Series debut on Friday, July 11. Later in the month, Troy will get a dose of “jazzgrass art rock,” courtesy of Minnesota’s Galactic Cowboy Orchestra. Their name is kind of a misnomer, given this four-piece is hardly what one thinks of when they think of what an orchestra is. But the quartet’s intricately composed songs and sophisticated level of musicianship on display prove the GCO can compete with most any orchestra any night of the week. An engaging blend mix of jazz, prog rock and neoclassical styles, the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra is a must-see for the more adventurous audience when they roll into Troy on Friday, July 25. Add in the patriotic sounds of military ensembles The 122nd Ohio Army National Guard Band on Wednesday, July 2 and the Air Force Band of Flight on Sunday, Aug. 24, and you’ve got quite an eclectic roster of styles, all for free, in downtown Troy this summer. And with most of the action taking place at Prouty Plaza in Troy’s town square, a potential visitor has a nice scenic spot to take it all in. 

“[Prouty Plaza] is an ideal venue for several reasons,” Manovich explained. “The atmosphere is picturesque – the backdrop of historic architecture, the square’s fountain and all the quaint shops and restaurants help make it a pleasant experience. Visitors will be surprised at all the options for food and shopping which, when teamed up with the concerts, make for an entertaining night out.”


The Troy Summer Music Concert Series runs through Monday, Sept. 1 at Prouty Plaza, 1 W. Main St. in Troy. For more information and a complete listing of upcoming performances, please visit

Reach DCP freelance writer Gary Spencer at

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Gary Spencer is a graduate of Miami University and works in the performing arts, and believes that music is the best. Contact him at

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