UH celebrates 90 years of free concerts

1976 summer concert on the front lawn of Wiley Middle School. Courtesy UH City Archives.

This year, the city of University Heights will present its 90th annual free summer concert series. In preparation for this momentous year, UH city staff dug deep into the city’s archives to learn more about the creation of this popular, perennial University Heights event.

Prior to 1927, the Village of Idlewood, as University Heights was originally known, offered occasional free concerts in the old town hall, where local talent was paid $30. (The village name was changed to University Heights in 1925, when John Carroll University moved to its current location. In 1940, University Heights became a city.)

When the new town hall (now University Heights City Hall, at the southwest corner of Warrensville Center and Silsby roads) opened in April 1926, a new piano was purchased for $250.

In early December 1926, the village council passed Ordinance 1754, establishing a free summer concert series, along with a fund of $250, because there were “no places of entertainment whatsoever within the Village limits.”

At that time, there were more farm animals than residents within the village. The village mayor, John Howard, and village council foresaw the immense growth that was coming, and wanted to ensure that the fledgling municipality would have suitable entertainment for the thousands of new residents who would move into the village in the coming decades. Today, more than 13,500 residents call University Heights home.

It is in this proud tradition that the 90th annual free summer concert series is held on most summer Thursdays, at 7 p.m., at John Carroll University’s Hamlin Quad. This year’s summer entertainment lineup, with occasional ice cream socials, is below. [Note the June 22 movie event will be held at the UH community park.]

  • June 1 - NorthCoast Jazz Collective (and ice cream social)
  • June 8 - Lost State of Franklin (and ice cream social)
  • June 15 – WIXY 1260 Band (and ice cream social)
  • June 22 - Family Outdoor Movie at the University Heights Community Park (starts at 9 p.m.)
  • June 29 - No Concert
  • July 6 - University Heights Symphonic Band Patriotic Concert (and ice cream social)
  • July 13 - The Benjaminz Band
  • July 20 - The Sloppy Joe Band
  • July 27 - University Heights Symphonic Band Children’s Concert (and ice cream social)
  • Aug. 3 - Blue Lunch
  • Aug. 10 - Yiddishe Cup (and ice cream social)

Patrick Grogan-Myers

Patrick Grogan-Myers is the community development coordinator for University Heights, and works with residents and businesses to promote University Heights as a great place in which to live, work, shop and play.

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Volume 10, Issue 5, Posted 11:19 AM, 05.02.2017