News & Events

Local Rotary Club Supports Petersburg Library Foundation

Members of the Rotary Clubs of Petersburg presented a donation to the Petersburg Library Foundation Tuesday, Oct. 16. The clubs have made the final installment of their $50,000 commitment with an additional $3,566 raised through the Rotary Golf Tournament. Left to right are Jim VanLandingham, Cindy Morgan, Cleve Wright, Fletcher Cooke, Bill Henn, Rev. Andrew White, Ed Betts, Wayne Crocker and Ken Pritchett.

Progress-Index – Published: October 25, 2012

Library embraces the sound of music

Robbin Thompson joins the BJ Leiderman Band for a number during 'For the Love of Books' Saturday at the Appomattox Regional Governor's School.

Progress-Index Staff Reports – Published Oct. 8, 2012

PETERSBURG – A crowd of music lovers gathered to hear an extraordinary blend of musical talent while at the same time helping to raise money for Petersburg’s new library.

Two top artists – a prominent composer and a recording artist who has performed with many of the top acts in rock history – joined the local symphony during the concert Saturday night. The concert – “For the Love of Books” – will benefit the building of the new Petersburg Public Library.

The Petersburg Symphony Orchestra joined forces with singer/songwriter and recording artist Robbin Thompson and composer BJ Leiderman. The result at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School Auditorium was an evening of eclectic entertainment and music for the region.

Thompson, an award-winning singer/songwriter and recording artist, has been prominent on the national and international music scene since the early 1970s. Owner of Virginia’s largest post-production recording facility, In Your Ear Music and Recording, Thompson has written songs with and shared the stage with members of the Dave Matthews Band, The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Phil Vassar and others.

Leiderman is well known for his award-winning National Public Radio compositions including “Car Talk,” “Morning Edition” and “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me.” His theme music has been a drive-time favorite on the radio for more than 30 years.

“This is a wonderful event with three different talents coming together for this one cause,” Leiderman said in an interview before the concert. “And it’s interesting because this concert really isn’t about us, but it’s about the library.”

The library foundation has broken ground on a new $12.7 million library. The first phase of construction will house the 45,000-square-foot main library and will feature a rotunda, several large meeting rooms, gallery space, an outdoor water feature, a café, wireless access and a large computer area. The library will also have more shelf space for books and media, improved accessibility and a parking lot.

The second phase of the project will contain a multi-purpose conference center and will be added when the overall fundraising goal is met at $12.7 million. The foundation has raised more than $10.2 million so far.

Ulysses Kirksey conducts the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra during 'For the Love of Books' concert Saturday at the Appomattox Regional Governor's School.

Top artists to perform ‘For the Love of Books’

Progress-Index: Staff Reports

PETERSBURG – Two top artists – a prominent composer and a recording artist who has performed with many of the top acts in rock history – will come to Petersburg this weekend to join with a local symphony – all “For the Love of Books.”

The Petersburg Library Foundation and the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra are presenting a concert on Saturday to benefit the building of the new Petersburg Public Library. The joint collaboration will feature an evening of music and eclectic entertainment. Featured guests will include singer/songwriter and recording artist Robbin Thompson and composer BJ Leiderman.

“This is a wonderful event with three different talents coming together for this one cause,” Leiderman said. “And it’s interesting because this concert really isn’t about us, but it’s about the library.”

Leiderman is well known for his award-winning National Public Radio compositions including “Car Talk,” “Morning Edition” and “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me.” His theme music has been a drive-time favorite on the radio for more than 30 years.

Leiderman says that he’s always loved books and the act of reading because he says it’s one of the few art forms where a person is required to use their own imagination. He added that while even he’s guilty of using a bit of new technology when it comes to reading – downloading books to his iPad – there’s something about holding an actual book and turning the pages that allows for a more intimate connection with the author and the written word.

“There’s something I miss when I’m not turning the pages,” he said. “There’s really no replacement for reading.”

Thompson, an award-winning singer/songwriter and recording artist, has been prominent on the national and international music scene since the early 1970s. Owner of Virginia’s largest post-production recording facility, In Your Ear Music and Recording, Thompson has written songs with and shared the stage with members of the Dave Matthews Band, The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Phil Vassar and others.

“I think anything that raises the awareness of the needs of a library is important. I have a library card and use it. It’s amazing how much information can be gotten at your local library for free,” Thompson said. “There are times when musicians come together to help each other, help something or someone else. This is one of those times.”

Thompson said that he has already benefitted from the concert by becoming aware of the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, something he wasn’t aware of before. He added that he also hopes that the event raises their profile.

“I didn’t know Petersburg had a symphony … now I do.”

Thompson has recorded 13 albums, and written music for hundreds of radio and television commercials. His song “Sweet Virginia Breeze,” co-authored with friend Steve Bassett, is considered by many to be the “official unofficial state song of Virginia.”

The two musicians – Leiderman and Thompson – share a common bond of friendship that goes back many years. Leiderman said that he recorded his first jingle for Nautilus at what was then Candy Apple Recording Studios. The studio is now In Your Ear Music and Recording, owned by Thompson. Thompson said that Leiderman asked him if he would be willing to participate in the benefit concert, something that he quickly obliged to.

“That’s the great thing about the artistic community, we seem to be able to bring people together through the art that we do,” Thompson said.

“For the Love of Books” concert will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School Auditorium, 512 W. Washington St. Tickets are $35 plus a $3.75 processing fee for each ticket. Tickets can be purchased online at petersburglibraryfoundation.org or at the door.

Robbin Thompson will perform Saturday night at a fundraiser that benefits the new Petersburg Public Library. He will be joined by composer BJ Leiderman and the Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.

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