Music in the Garden kicked off last week and will continue throughout the month of July. 

The second free concert in this summer’s Music in the Garden series will be held on the south lawn of Anne Hathaway Cottage at 7 p.m. on Thursday evening, July 11 and will feature the Plains Folk Band from Pierre.  At 6 p.m. the Humm-Dinger will be selling suppers near Shakespeare Garden’s fish pond.  In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.  Concert attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs.  The event is being sponsored by the Springs Area Council of the Arts (SACOTA) and the Allen and Bernice Rasmussen Family. 

The Plains Folk Band is a popular group of entertainers whose music is a unique blend of harmonies and is showcased in selections ranging from Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Bob Dylan, old-time folk, cowboy and western, bluegrass, contemporary and gospel.  Band members include Gary Heintz, Patti Heintz, Jamie Reed, Merlin Bennett, Gene Lumby and Steve Van Mullem.  

Gary Heintz sings lead tenor, adds harmony when needed, and plays rhythm guitar.  He has sung much of his life, including in collegiate and  church choirs, and many community functions.  Folk/country have always been his favorite styles of music, with John Denver as one of his musical heroes. 

Patti Heintz plays percussion for the band.  She quilts in her spare time and with her husband loves the western heritage.

Jamie Reed sings lead and harmony and plays bass and percussion. She grew up in a musical Wyoming family where she was an active singer throughout her school career.  She moved to South Dakota in 1998 and brought with her a love of music that she shares with Plains Folk. 

Merlin Bennett plays bass, banjo and sings lead and harmony.  He has a long musical history ranging from barbershop, formal college choirs, show choirs, rock and roll and country bands.  He grew up on a ranch in the Philip area and attributes his love of music to his parents who would play and sing together (and even yodel)  in the evenings.

Gene Lumby is a singer/song writer, guitarist, and mandolin player.  In addition to Plains Folk, he is a member of Higher Ground, a contemporary Christian Group. He jokingly enjoys telling that he has taken guitar from some of the ”greats,” but unfortunately was caught and had to give the guitars back.

Steve Van Mullem is the group’s fiddler.  He played with Plains Folk when it first started and then left to pursue other opportunities.  The band members missed the amazing sound of his fiddle  and realized that nothing could take its place.  They were able to talk him into playing for “one more season” and he has been with them since.  

The final two Music in the Garden concerts will be held on July 18, “Songs of the Sixties,” with Springs Inn serving the supper, and on July 25  with “Just 4 Sisters” and ROCS serving the supper.  For more information call (605) 539-1169.