The hardest part was getting it started.
The dream is to keep it going.
I’m talking about the new music series that kicks off this week at Noblesville eateries.
Legacy Keepers Music -- which has brought free live music every summer to the Hamilton County Courthouse Square in downtown Noblesville with the StringTime on the Square series, in its fifth season in 2021 -- will now bring free live music to Noblesville restaurants on Thursday nights.
The “Live Music After Hours on Thursdays” series kicks off this Thursday with four venues booked per Thursday with live musicians for the next four Thursdays, through May 13.
The series could continue longer as the series gains interest from musicians and restaurants.
“We may have other restaurants joining us,” said Gilray, who’s organizing the series, which is subsidized with funds raised by Legacy Keepers Music, the Noblesville nonprofit that she leads.
The series, which is family friendly, is designed to provide work for local musicians.
A variety of acts that match the character of the restaurant hosting each performer have been chosen with consideration for talent, suitability and travel considerations (close proximity to Noblesville),” Gilray said.
“Charitable donors are supporting the series, and all restaurant owners around the Courthouse who have hired musicians in the past were invited to participate in the series,” she said.
“I’d love to see Noblesville become Music City, Indiana. But first, our nonprofit just wants to help get a few local musicians back to work,” Gilray said. “Music is so important when it comes to promoting positivity. And improving sense of place.”
Gilray hopes to build on the image of downtown Noblesville as a tourist destination. “It will help our merchants continue to survive, revive and thrive,” she said. “I would like to continue the cooperation between restaurants and artists.”
She’s proud that Noblesville is now one of eight state Cultural Arts Districts,” she said. On Aug. 16, 2016, Noblesville Common Council designated the Noblesville Cultural Arts District to enhance a culture of arts, and create universal access for Noblesville artists and cultural arts organizations to contribute to the vibrancy of the area in a collaborative and supportive arts community, she said.
The District is bounded on the West by Fifth Street, follows Indiana 32 to the farthest west boundary of Nixon Street to allow inclusion of Federal Hill Commons then returns down Logan Street to the North on Ind. 19 east on Logan Street crossing the White River and following the riverbank to the North boundary of Wayne Street to the alley just east of 13th Street south to Maple Avenue then turns west to 13th Street then south to Cherry Street to 12th Street south to Division Street until it connects with Fifth Street as the West boundary.
The cost of the “Live Music After Hours on Thursday” series has been subsidized with funds raised by Legacy Keepers. The greatest share of contributions, Gilray said, were received from Chuck Goodrich and Gaylor Electric in Noblesville and the Office of Noblesville Township Trustee, along with private citizens, including Jean Roberts of Arcadia and George Kristo of Noblesville.
Gilray said she started planning the new Thursday series months ago, when social media was used to query the public, and the advisory committee of the nonprofit was asked for input. Performers sent their virtual auditions or online web links by Facebook messenger. Cost, musical variety, close proximity to downtown Noblesville and availability were factors considered, she said.
“Everyone who enjoys live music at local restaurants is encouraged to come out in support,” Gilray said.
“Order from the menu. Enjoy the food. Tip your waitress,” she said. “And those who appreciated the music can tip the performer or make a donation.”
She encourages folks to tell their friends, “support more music, more often, and learn about the organization behind the project on the Legacy Keepers Music Facebook page.
“Fundraising continues in hopes of extending the series into the fall,” she said.
Here is the schedule for the next four weeks; all shows are 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted:
This Thursday, Ginger’s Cafe, 1111 S. 10th St., features Dwayne Conaway of Noblesville, playing classic country; Primeval Brewing, 960 Logan St., features Brad McCord of Noblesville, playing country and rock; Barley Island Brewing Co, 639 Conner St., features Caleb Hawkins, of Indianapolis, playing American-Folk music; and Grindstone Public house, 101 10th St., blues, with Craig Thurston at 6:30 p.m. playing blues.
For the next three weeks after opening, music will continue at the same four venues. But the music changes at three of the locations.
Here are the next three weeks’ schedule:
-April 29, Ginger’s Cafe, Brad McCord; Primeval Brewing, Caleb Hawkins; Barley Island Brewing Co., Dwayne Conaway; and Grindstone Public House, Craig Thurston, 6:30 p.m.
-May 6, Ginger’s Cafe, Debra Lanning and accompanist Bob Auth, playing folk, country and bluegrass; Primeval Brewing, Mike Snyder on acoustic guitar; Barley Island, Jason Moore playing folk and Americana; and Grindstone Public House, Craig Thurston, 6:30 p.m.
May 13: Ginger’s Cafe, Caleb Hawkins; Primeval Brewing, Mojave Highway playing country, rock and variety; Barley Island Brewing Co., Debra Lanning and Bob Auth; and Grindstone Public House, Craig Thurston, 6:30 p.m.
Gilray said she thinks the bands so far have been a good fit.
This “Live Music After Hours on Thursday” series is being offered in addition to the fifth annual StringTime on the Square summer concert series, which this year kicks off June 12 and continues the second and fourth Saturdays through September on the northeast corner of the Courthouse lawn.
Gilray said planning both series takes a lot of time. She said, “There is no one being paid to coordinate any of this.”
But she’s thrilled both series for 2021 are coming together and Gilray looks forward to bringing the community “more music, more often.”

-Contact Betsy Reason at