It’s always been free, but it hasn’t always been hoppin’. When the Twilight Tunes concert series started in 1994, funding — and thus awareness — was low, and local artists weren’t too jazzed (pun intended) about participating in the shows. What a difference over two decades makes.

“Over the years, it’s grown into one of Denton’s favorite events,” Christine Gossett of the Denton Main Street Association says. Gossett plans events for the Association, and was with the Chamber of Commerce when Denton Economic Development Program Administrator and fierce Dentoning advocate Julie Glover organized the inaugural Twilight Tunes series.

“We were looking for ways to bring people downtown, and to get them interacting with each other and the city,” Gossett says. “It’s all about exposing you to music you might not hear, in a setting where you don’t usually experience music.”

Photo by Tammi Paul Photography

Due to the hard work of Glover and the Main Street Association, Twilight Tunes has grown to become one of Denton’s favorite events. Now, Gossett and Scott Campbell, who serves as the Twilight Tunes chair for the Main Street Association and coined the term ‘Dentoning’, are keeping the good tunes and good times rollin’ with the third-ever fall series.

Every Sunday this month, local artists will perform on the Courthouse-on-the-Square lawn from 4:30-6 p.m. The cooler fall weather isn’t the only thing that has Denton (and Gossett) buzzing. “This fall’s series is broad in range, and a great showcase for the different kinds of artists you’ll see all across Denton,” she says.

That includes Reggae Today, who’ll perform October 15, and Melissa Ratley, who takes the stage (er, I mean lawn) the following Sunday, October 22. This Sunday, it’s longtime Denton favorite Guitar George and his trio who will light up the night. But at Twilight Tunes, the Dentonites in the crowd are just as important as the Dentonites performing. As a longtime planner and fan of the series, Gossett has seen her fair share of Twilight performances, and is impressed by how the concerts have helped bring the Denton music scene together.

Photo by Tammi Paul Photography

“Because of tunes downtown and other events, we’ve seen musicians networking and getting creative together. You no longer had to go anywhere else to find a gig—business embraced the music scene, and you suddenly had so many different places to play. “

The event planner and proud Dentonite is also moved by the way her fellow music fans have embraced the series.

“I always love seeing kids dance with their parents, or parents dance with grandparents,” she says. “The music is bringing them together, and they’ll remember that dance on the square forever.”

When pressed to name her favorite moment, Gossett recalls a couple that had their first date at a show by jazz musician John Adams, then returned to another Adams’ Tunes show two years later with the news that they were engaged.

“On any given night, something magical can happen.”


The remaining Twilight Tunes fall shows are as follows:

 Oct. 8- Guitar George Trio (Zydeco Boogie) Oct. 15- Reggae Today (Reggae) Oct. 22- Melissa Ratley (Neotraditional Country) Oct. 29- UNT Steel Drum Band (Island/Calypso)

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